These rice fields are a muddy mess and need a lot of shovel work. Yes, the old shovel–a rice farmer’s best tool. After rice harvest, throughout the cold northern California winter, these rice fields have been submerged in water, decomposing last year’s remaining rice straw. Now, as spring approaches, we need to drain the winter water and dry out these rice fields.
We have pulled the boards out of the rice boxes and allowed the water to flow out of the fields. Pops, more recently, has driving a bank-out (self-propelled grain cart) through the rice fields creating deep ruts that serve as drains. This helps the flow of water dramatically.
We need these rice fields dry for the spring so that we may enter with our heavy tractors and planting equipment. We need to turn this muddy mess back into a nice, beautiful rice field. So let’s get the 2018 rice crop started!