The following is a story release from the LSU AgCenter:
CROWLEY, La. – The faculty at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station conducted a day-long rice farming clinic Thursday, Feb. 21, for employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ducks Unlimited to learn the basics of growing rice.
Topics covered included control of insects, weeds and diseases, agronomy, variety development and economics, along with details about planting and land preparation.
Steve Linscombe, director of the Rice Research Station, said the session was intended to help NRCS and Ducks Unlimited personnel understand what is involved in growing rice.
"Rice is a complex crop to grow because it is grown in water," Linscombe said. "We gladly provided the instruction because these individuals will be working with farmers, and they need to know what standard practices are used to produce rice."
More than 40 people, including several LSU AgCenter county agents, attended the class.
Mike Cooley, NRCS acting state conservationist for field operations, said the class was a good session.
"We have new people coming on with no experience in rice," Cooley said. "We wanted to give them a broad background in rice cultural practices."
Cooley said he would like to see additional classes for row crops such as corn and soybeans. "This is our first step at providing extra training."
Linscombe provided an overview of how rice varieties are developed. In other presentations:
– LSU AgCenter rice specialist Johnny Saichuk followed a rice crop through the year to explain the various necessary steps.
– LSU AgCenter weed scientist Eric Webster told the class how weeds are controlled.
– LSU AgCenter entomologist Mike Stout talked about insect control.
– LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth explained disease control.