How Rice is Harvested in California!


California Rice harvest 2016 has begun and the harvesting will not stop until the rice is in the barn! Take a high-definition, up close look at the total process of harvesting rice. A complete overview of what it takes to cut, load and deliver the rice from the fields to the dryer/mill.

Full Transcript:

Well guys, I’ve been super excited about this video. It’s harvest 2016. I’m looking forward to showing you how rice is harvested in California.

Right now I’m in one of our trailers. It’s empty rice now however with all three of our harvesters out there cutting at full speed this trailer should get filled up in no time.

Like I said, they get filled up pretty quickly.

Now I’m not going to do a harvest video and not give you an introduction into one of the key components of the combine; and that is the header. This is the header. This is the reel of the header. These fingers here are what comb the rice into the header. The sickle blades here are razor-sharp–that cuts the straw about eight inches off the ground. As it’s cut the rice lays down flat. The center draper shoots it straight into the beater-drum. The Beater-drum beats down the straw and the rice as it’s being prepared to be processed straight into the harvester.

So that’ the header. You’re going to see a lot of that in action so having said that, let’s get it in action.

Driving the harvester there’s two things you need to be aware of–that is your speed and engine load. First the engine load tells you how hard the machine is working. If it’s at a 100% engine load that means you’re taking in a little bit too much straw and rice and it’s having a hard time separating the two. So optimal speed here for this harvester is about 2.5 miles per hour with 75% engine load, giving you a bit of a buffer just in case you have a huge slug of rice that comes in.

Now, as you’re cutting along the grain tank is filling with rice. The computer system will alert you when you’re at 75% capacity and at a 100% capacity. Obviously at 100% capacity you have to unload into the bank-out.

The bank-outs are hustling, ensuring that the harvesters don’t stop cutting. They’re the ones that are driving in and out of the fields–sometimes great distances depending on where the trailers are parked and where the harvesters are cutting.

The trucks, behind them, haul a set of doubles. Doubles can hold up to 80,000 pounds of rice.

Once the trailers are full the trucks take off to the rice dryer–in our case Red Top Rice Dryer.

That guy there, that’s Mike. The best truck driver west of the Mississippi. He wastes no time once the trailers are full and takes off to Red Top.

Once at Red Top Mike pulls up to the probing station. The probe transfers a sample of rice inside where staff can then give it a moisture reading.

Once the machine reads the sample of rice Mike pulls up to the scales in which the entire set of doubles is weighed.

Then Mike picks up the weight tag. At this point the moisture percentage has been recorded as well as the total weight of the rice including the trailers and the trucks.

He then pulls up to one of the unloading stalls, opens the bottom sliding door and unloads all the rice. Once he’s assured that all the rice has been unloaded he pulls up to the final scale, aside Red Top main office. The weight of the truck and empty trailers is recorded and subtracted from the initial weight at the previous scale.

Mike picks up the final tag which has recorded all the important information. This is essentially a receipt for the rice that we just dropped off. We have exchanged all this rice for this pink receipt.

With the receipt and the empty trailers, Mike hustles back to the ranch because there could potentially be bank-outs waiting to unload, full of rice.

Though with the sun setting and the evening moisture rising, we’ll stop cutting shortly.

Today has been another productive day of rice harvest.

I’m I safe?