Before the tractor work started and life got busy, I thought I would be able to depict each process of planting rice. This is chiseling. Here is discing and here is land-planing. I was wrong. I’m just too busy with other tasks involved in putting in a rice crop.
So follow me throughout this typical 14 hour workday as we are 2.5 weeks into planting rice here in Northern California. We got a lat start due to the late rains so we are in high gear all the time!
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It’s 6 a.m. on May 6th
And it’s the 13th day of planting. Shhhh! Clara’s still sleeping.
What I’ve decided to do is today, check in with you every single hour of the day, to just let you know what I’m doing. Welcome to my day, this is planting rice 2017. Now let’s get ready for work.
7:00 a.m. my day starts off already kind of as a bummer because I only got to see Elena for like one and a half minutes. But, I needed to get some gas and get to work. Now I need to get (coffee).
It’s 8:00 a.m., already worked up a little bit of a sweat. This field that I’m in right now is called “North Sligars” it’s 146.9 acres. Not only are there boxes on the west and east, there’s also boxes down the center. That’s one of these boxes, what these boxes are for are so that we can quickly drain the fields in the fall to prepare for harvest, in the spring we don’t need these boxes open so Pops and I boarded of these boxes so they don’t leak. We’re only going to be controlling water down the sides of the field and not down the middle of the field.
9:00 a.m. this disk has done all the work it can on this ranch so we folded up the gangs, put it into transport mode and I’m going to drive it over to the other ranch.
Made it!– And we unhooked the disk, hooked up the chisel so we can continue chiseling this field. There’s my Pops.
11:00 a.m. back over to “North Sligars” just behind me there, the fertilizer is being applied right now.
So that means tomorrow we’re going to be ready to flood up the field. Now just because we’re ready to flood doesn’t mean our neighbors are ready to flood. So when we send water down this ditch, we don’t want water seeping through their riser into their field when they’re still trying to work it up. So therefore I’ve put plastic to completely seal and therefore, we can keep their field dry while wetting our fields just across the road.
Noon, still on “North Sligars” this is a box that we do want water to flow through, it’s not one of the center boxes in the field. So what I need to do is get this dirt and weeds out of the way, because we’re attempting to flood this 146.9 acre field in about eight days. That’s because we just had the fertilizer applied and we want to lock it into the soil with a nice layer of water.
You see its got a nice channel way, the water is going to flow perfectly through this box and I’ve worked up my second sweat of the day. #cropfit
Got the boxes on “North Sligars” all opened up, 1:00 p.m time to get some lunch.
“Hi baby”(Clara) Matthew and Clara speak to each other in Portuguese.
Clara picked me up a burrito, we got home at the same time.
Elena was, Elena was sleeping. Now she’s awake, which is nice because I haven’t really seen her today yet.
Bye, Bye. Matthew speaks to Elena in Portuguese.
Quick lunch, this never is long enough especially when Elena is being so cutesy.
It’s 3:00 p.m. and I’m back in another ditch, same concept as over at “North Sligars”. I’m going to seal up that intake riser because the field that’s on the other side of the riser is not ready to be flooded yet, we’re still working ground. However we are going to fill this ditch with water because a field upstream is ready to be flooded TODAY. I’ll show you that field a little later because we still have stuff to do there.
And that’s how you seal off a field from a ditch full of water because we want to keep it dry to be able to continue our ground work. I got one more of these to do.
Ok, now we’re going to go to 170 acre field which we refer to as the “M170”, that’s the field we’re going to flood later tonight, that’s the field which we’ve just now isolated in regards to our irrigation system by sealing off these boards, these dams and these risers which go into other fields that aren’t quite yet ready. But back over at the “M170” we got a little bit of the finishing touches left to do to make it totally ready for water and Pops right now has hopped on a tractor, he’s pulling drain, so let’s go check it out.
That was Pops pulling more drains and the are going to connect the intake riser and the pumps allowing the water to flow smoothly down the field and through the boxes. Now as these drains are going to help us flood up very quickly tonight, they’ll be in the field throughout the entire growing season as we’re going to use them again in the fall as we try to drain the water off the field, as we prepare for harvest.– we need to clean the intersections of the drains so let’s do it.
One set of drains done, 13 more to go.
It’s 4 o’clock and I got 9 more drains to go.
5 o’clock, taking a break from cleaning out the drains, setting up some supplies. Keep that tractor running and another wrench. This is DEF fluid, it’s what those Tier 4 motors need to run clean. — I just realized I forgot to apply sunscreen.– Better late than never.
6:00 p.m. guys. The water from the irrigation district has come down the canals, so we’re ready to turn those ditch pumps on and start flooding the “M170”.
Pumps are running awesome! “M170” is officially being flooded. May 6th is the date we started water on the 2017 crop, and it’s a little after 6:00 p.m, that means you guys have been with me this entire day for 12 hours. But, the day is young!
It’s not quite 7:00 p.m. yet guys, however things here at the ranch are winding down we do want to wait a while and allow the ditch pumps to run a bit because we’re the ones that ordered water first, a lot of debris upstream, dead weeds, limbs, things like that are going to get flushed down and because our ditch pump is sucking in water, it’s going to also try to suck in that debris. I’m going to check it a little bit after 7:00 p.m. However since I got some time to kill so I’m going to get a head start on tomorrow’s chores and blow out the air filters and radiator on this Case 260.
Ok, let’s go see if the ditch pump screens are dirty.
Well that was a pleasant surprise. The screens protecting the ditch pumps weren’t that dirty at all, I attribute that to the late spring rains and the excessive rainfall that we’ve had this April. That probably flushed out all the system. Sun’s going down and it’s a little after 7:00, I’m going home.
Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!
It’s nearly 8 o’clock, it’s time for Elena to go to bed unfortunately. Thanks for watching guys, please subscribe, comment down below if you have any questions and please visit my E-shop to help support Rice Farming TV.
Let’s get something to eat and go to bed? Say bye, bye.