All pictures courtesy of Ben Falk
We are hosting a rice panel discussion and an opportunity to interact with others interested in growing rice on Tuesday evening, February 26 at the University of Vermont campus in Burlington. The event is free and open to the public. Please join us!
My current research in sustainable agriculture focuses on the future of growing rice (Oryza sativa) in cold climates, such as the Northeast. This research is funded by the USDA's Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Partnership Grant. My farmer collaborators are Ben Falk, M.A.L.D., owner of Whole Systems Design Research Farm in Moretown VT and John Maeck, owner of JM Plants and Produce Farm in Shelburne VT.
Rice is an uncommon grain crop in the northeastern US, even with the availability of cold-hardy varieties and the abundance of freshwater resources. Thus, this important grain that feeds 3 billion people worldwide must be imported, although there is an opportunity to grow rice locally. Rice paddies are constructed wetlands that can mitigate the effects of severe weather events, such as flooding and excess soil and nutrient run-off, while increasing on-farm biodiversity.
We will study how variable water availability affects rice plant vigor, survival, panicle formation, maturation date, and total grain yield of 4 temperate rice strains (Hayayuki bred in Hokkaido, Japan, Matsumae bred in Hokkaido, Japan, Akitakomachi bred in Akita, Japan, and M202 bred in California) during the 2012 season. The project results will inform northeastern farmers how to utilize subprime agricultural land (i.e., on dairy farms) to grow rice and increase farm income in a changing climate.
Interested in growing rice? Read the Rice Growing Manual prepared by southern Vermont rice farmers Takeshi and Linda Akaogi. Also, view this informative video on diversified and regenerative farming at Whole Systems Design.
International Rice Research Institute
Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center (seed orders can be placed here)
Whole Systems Design Rice Paddy Agriculture
Last modified February 17 2013 12:37 PM