As harvest nears we need to check the filling progress of the rice heads in order to determine when to pull water off the fields. Looking to maximize filling yet dry out the fields in order to harvest in a timely manner (and not in the mud).
Now that it’s about the third week in August the rice has been well into the reproductive phase. So you know what that means…we got to get our hip-boots on and check how well the rice heads are filling. Let’s go!
So what we’re going to do: take a rice plant. And we’re going to inspect these rice seeds. These kernels. And eventually I’m going to find some milk. These are filling quite nicely. And as we get up the spikelet we should get to see a little bit harder, mealier rice starting to form there.
We’re going to go down deep and look for the little spikelets because these are the youngest spikelets, as opposed to what’s up on top. You can see the difference–a little bit more yellow. These are green. These are what’s going to determine whether or not we are happy with how they are filling.
So the heading process is going quite well.
The reason why we’re checking how far along the heads are is because eventually we’re going to want to drain this field so we can harvest it. We’re looking at two concerns–not wanting to harvest in the mud, therefore getting the water off quickly.
But, not getting the water off too quickly and therefore stunting the filling process of the heads and therefore stunting how much rice is actually going to be produced by the plant. Once we take the water off the plant will slowly start to die, slowly stop filling the heads and maturing. Once we feel confident that the heads are to their full potential we’ll start draining the water.
This, by the way, is about a 60 acre field and through experience should take about 25 days to dry up and be ready to harvest.
Isn’t it beautiful? You plant one of these seeds in the spring. You work hard all spring-summer and it creates a plant and gives you all these seeds back. All those seeds.
This plant knows it’s dieing soon and therefore wants to send its seed into the future. And that’s what we’re going to harvest.
It’s green rice.