Weather doesn’t dampen interest in 2014 Rice Field Day

A group of farmers, rice industry personnel and Rice Research Station personnel gather to await the beginning of Rice Field Day activities Wednesday. The annual event showcases the advances in rice farming as well as provides useful information across the field concerning the industry, legislation and more.

Onlookers check out poster displays from researchers as well as other groups like Ducks Unlimited and Second Chance Harvest.

Set to be part of the 2014 Rice Field Day field tour, Dr. Randy Price and Charles Malveaux work with their unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ahead of the tours as curious onlookers check out the UAV up close.

With light rain falling here and there, you might expect the turnout for the 2014 Rice Field Day at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station.

Think again.

The impending weather did not dampen, so to speak, the interests of farmers and others involved in the rice industry in the latest advances in the field. Rice Field Day was also a chance, however, to get updates on legislation like the new Farm Bill, and more.

Outside of the Field Tours – set to feature information on rice breeding, weed control, insect control, disease control, agronomy and hybrid breeding and the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in agriculture, there was also a poster session and the program featuring multiple guest speakers.

The printed program for the day also featured an overview of each doctor’s research into the fields.

Dr. Steve Linscombe has listed out 58 varieties, hybrids and advanced experimental lines of rice while Dr. Xueyan Sha’s paragraphs talked about his work with the development of superior medium-grain and long-grain rice varieties for Arkansas and the mid-South.

Under rice weed control, Drs. Eric Webster’s and Bob Scott’s thoughts on the subject were displayed. Webster, along with research assistance from Caleb Fish, Ben McKnight and Eric Bergeron talked about weed management in the program and Scott provided an update on Arkansas Rice Weed Management.

Dr. Michael Stout’s rice insects project overview as well as Dr. Jeff Gore’s look into rice water weevil and stink bug management in Mississippi rice; Dr. Don Groth’s rice disease update and Dr. Clayton A. Hollier’s work on Cercospora Disease Complex: Biology and Impact, A Better Understanding for Better Management; Dr. Randy Price and Charles Malveux’s look into the use of UAVs in agriculture; and Dr. Dustin Harrell’s research into reducing nitrogen volatilization losses in rice production and Dr. James Oard’s look into rice hybrid breeding were also in the program and on the docket.

At the poster session, not only was more research on display, but booths from Wildlife and Fisheries, RiceTec, USA Rice Federation, Entergy and many more were on hand as well, all trying to provide their insights and expertise into what they can and have contributed to the rice industry.

During the day’s program, Jackie Loewer, chairman of the Louisiana Rice Research Board, addressed those in attendance about the activities of the board. 

Headlines from the Louisiana Rice Research Board’s annual report, presented with the printed program to attendees highlighted the fact that two new Clearfield varieties could be released soon for the new growing season: a medium-grain Clearfield and a Clearfield version of Jazzman.

A farm bill and rice market update was provided by Dr. Michael Salassi, a J. Nelso Fairbanks-endowed professor of agricultural economics. 

State Conservationist with the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service Kevin Norton talked about conservation opportunities for working agriculture lands. Trade constraints and opportunities for Louisiana rice were the focuses of USA Rice COO Bob Cummings’ talk.

LSU’s vice president of agriculture, Dr. William B. Richardson, also presented some remarks on the industry.

For more information on the Rice Research Station, visit http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/our_offices/research_stations/Rice/.

Jeannine LeJeune is the online editor for the Crowley Post-Signal. She can be reached at jeannine.lejeune@crowleytoday.com or 337-783-3450.

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