California Rice Field Day Heralds Industry’s Remarkable Recovery

    Field tours bring the research up close (photo by Katie Cahill)

    BIGGS, CA – For 111 years, the Rice Experiment Station has been delivering outstanding results for California’s rice industry, and hundreds gathered this week for the annual Field Day here for reports on what lies ahead.

    Kim Gallagher, a graduate of the Rice Leadership Development Program and vice-chair of the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation (CCRRF), welcomed attendees, highlighting the strong comeback the rice industry is enjoying this year.  With rice acres returning to normal levels, spirits are high moving into the harvest season.  During the CCRRF business meeting financial reports were given and it was announced that the yield competition was back on for 2023.

    Jim F. Cook, director of research & technology for Colusa County Farm Supply, was awarded the 2023 California Rice Industry Award for his contributions to improving California rice production.

    Attendees boarded trucks for field tours of research plots and saw breeding nurseries on the main station as well as field trials at the Hamilton Road site.

    Station tours included updates on the long, medium, and short grain breeding programs that highlighted promising new releases; rice agronomy research into fallowed fields and efficiency; pest, insect, and red rice management; and the state’s first herbicide tolerant rice, the non-GMO ROXY ® Rice Production System.

    There also was a presentation on the Weed Science Program and the many experiments going on there to improve the tools in growers’ toolboxes.

    Following the morning’s activities, everyone enjoyed an exceptional lunch that included dishes made from California rice varieties developed at the station.

    In addition to the Field Day, USA Rice Government Affairs staff, Jamison Cruce and Shelby Young, made a number of member visits throughout California rice country.

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