260 Million Pounds of Rice to Dry!


In my California harvest 2016 episode (11) we followed the journey of freshly cut rice from the field to the drier. Now, watch how the rice is dried down to storage moisture (15%) and stored under optimal conditions until shipped out to a mill for processing.

Matt Jones, Operations Manager, of Red Top Rice Growers (located in Biggs, California) gives a tour of the drying facility and warehouses. His son, Eben, joins us as he enjoys both rice and filmmaking.

Full Transcript:

Hi guys, I’m here at Red Top Rice Drier. I want to show you how rice is dried for storage after its been harvested. Also, I’m here with special guest star Eben Jones.

Hi guys!

Eben Jones is the son of Matt Jones, the operations manager here. And he’s also interested in rice and film making so this should be fun.

Eben, let’s go find your dad.

Let’s go!

Come in.

Hey Matt!

How you doing Matt. Come, sit down guys.

Well Matt, thanks for agreeing to give us a tour of the facility.


Now for the viewers here, what’s the maximum capacity of rice that can be stored here.

Maximum capacity of Red Top Rice Growers is 260 million pounds of rice.

Wow, 260 million pounds.

A lot of rice.

Yeah! And what’s the daily capacity at which you guys can receive?

On a max delivery day…250 truck loads is just under 14 million pounds of rice received in this facility.


Let’s go take a tour!

Alright, we’re heading over to the pit where the trucks unload the freshly harvested rice. You last saw this unloading pit in my California Rice Harvest video, Episode 11.

Hang on to this cup, stand on this platform and you pull the direction you want to go to stop it.


From the pit we descend via conveyor lift, about 40 feet underground, into the basement of one of Red Top’s driers. For safety reasons Eben stays behind and takes over management.

Down here is the underside of the unloading pit where begins a system of augers and elevators, delivering and comingling freshly harvested rice into grain bins (or silos) so that they may be transferred through the drying units. Matt explains:

Once it goes into the grain bin operator will select which bin he wants to start drying. It goes into another elevator which will put it on top of the drier.

That’s scary.

That is scary!

Back on ground level Matt takes me through the fan room…

…and inside the heating unit where we can watch the rice passing through the drying column and see it transferred back into a bin.

Then in the Control Room Matt explains how rice can be moved from bin to bin and accounted for as it’s dried down to storage moisture.

We then take the conveyor lift up, way up above the basement, following the elevators to the top of the facility.

This is where operators can determine which bin the rice should be transferred–depending on it’s stage in the drying process.

From a side door Matt shows me something awesome!

We just walked through the rice drier. Let’s go look at the warehouses.

From the drying facility we make our way over and down into one of Red Top’s 11 flat-storage warehouses.

Hi, I’m Rob Shear, the facility manager at Red Top Rice Growers.

Nice to meet you Rob.

Nice to meet you Matt.

The warehouses hold rice that has been dried down to storage moisture.

This is like a countries worth of rice.

This is the chutes they utilize, yeah, to drop the rice where they need it.

So here at Red Top Rice Growers our point of focus beyond employee safety is product quality and food safety.

Before returning down to ground level we take advantage of another beautiful view of the northern Sacramento Valley rice fields.

We’re just trying to get the product finished and shipped out of our facility–out to the consumer.

I really appreciate the time. The tour was excellent.

That was fun

I’ve got some things to do. If you guys have any more questions just give me a hollar.

Hey, what should we do now?

Let’s edit!