Rice farmers are some of the hardest-working, most passionate people about their profession that I have ever seen. They are always looking for ways to take their operations to the next level of productivity and profitability. And most admit that they love the lifestyle, being outdoors, and, in many cases, teaching their sons and daughters how to do what they do and do it well.
The good news for U.S. rice producers is that while you are busy producing and marketing your crop, a large cadre of people is in motion across the Rice Belt working hard to make sure that your efforts pay off. That contingency includes crop consultants, Extension personnel, research scientists, marketing experts, industry organizations, distributors, dealers and equipment and product manufacturers. Just envision being on the turnrow and looking over your shoulder to see a veritable army of support folks standing behind you, similar to the scene in one of the wireless phone company’s TV commercials.
In each issue of Rice Farming, we try to bring you the best and latest information from these entities.
For example, in the article “First Line of Defense” on page 13, university Extension and researchers discuss when rice seed treatments should be utilized and what potential benefits they can provide to increase your bottom line. And don’t forget the efforts made by various companies to bring these products forward after rice farmers lost the use of Furadan and Icon.
“A New Trio Hits The Field” on page 14 describes the new variety offerings developed by university rice breeders, and on pages 18, 19 and 20, university Extension specialists discuss the performance of rice varieties on a state-by-state basis and give helpful tips for choosing the right variety for your operation in 2011.
On page 16, Arkansas rice producer Jonathan Ashlock describes his va-riable rate fertility program as “a money making thing” after taking advantage of a consultant-designed program that provides site-specific grid sampling and variable rate prescriptions for dealers, consultants and growers.
And don’t miss the industry organization columns on pages 10 and 12 that describe their efforts to expand markets for U.S. rice and keep you up-to- date on legislative matters in Washington, D.C. These are just a couple of examples of what the leadership and staff of these groups do on behalf of U.S. rice farmers.
In my opinion, as rice producers stand on the brink of a new year and a new season, it should feel good to know that so many dedicated people have got your back.
Send your comments to: Editor, Rice Farming Magazine, 5118 Park Ave., Suite 111, Memphis, Tenn., 38117. Call (901) 767-4020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.