Our Rice Plants Growth Stages are Amazing!

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Learn about our rice plants growth stages through the first 3 weeks after planting. Our 2018 rice crop was seeded in the month of May (between the 6th and 26th) after a late start due to spring California rains.

It’s a great feeling to have all the tractor work completed and all our rice fields planted. I hope to give you a good idea of how rice is grown in California with this video.

Full Transcript:

Now that all the tractor work has been completed and all our rice fields have finally been planted; I want to show you the amazing little rice plant’s growth stages in this episode of Rice Farming TV. The variety of rice we planted this year was all Calrose Medium Grain. The first field was planted on the 6th of May and the last field was planted on the 26th of the same month.

Now, I’ve been across the entire county picking seeds and plants from several of our fields to give you, as I mentioned, a good look at the rice plants growth stages. We’ve had pretty optimal growing conditions throughout May with temperatures in the high 80s so we’re going to see some dramatic growth in the rice plants first 20 days after seeding. Let’s head home, into my office so we can lay these plants out and get better looks at them…

And here we are. Oh yeah, much better light. Okay, this is going to be awesome guys just give me second to get all set up. Boom! Here we are and at one day, not much action. At two days we can already see some development as the coleoptile emerges. This protective sheath will eventually protect the, soon to be, young shoot tip, or first leaf.

Already now at 4 days we can see a more apparent coleoptile and a primary (or first seeding) leaf emerging from it. It’s root is now about an ⅛” long. At one week the second leaf has emerged from the sheath and is about a ½” long while the root is nearly an inch long. At 10 days the second leaf has grown to an inch long and unfurrowed. A root system is forming with the seminal root stretching 1.5 inch long.

At 13 days the third leaf has emerged and grown an inch and a quarter long, while several roots are two inches long. At 19 days the second and third leaf have grown dramatically. The plant is nearly six inches tall with a root system four inches long. At 21 days the the plant has tillered. Its first, second, third and fourth leaf have fully unfurrowed. The plant is now 7 inches tall with a root system of 4.5 inches.

Now it’s important to note that these rice plants growth and their development (mainly in the leaves and roots) may not look the same depending on the farmer, region and variety of seed. The most quantifiable difference in farming practices comes from a farmer’s nutrient program or how much fertilizer they add. Which leads me to the most frequently asked question from last week’s, rhyming episode, titled: How We Plant Rice: Learning How to Farm is Nice.

Tommy, Tim, and Glen all pretty much asked, “Matt, you applied fertilizer twice. What was the composition of fertilizer in both instances? Well guys the first application, if you remember, was with the aqua bar and the fertilizer was injected 3” deep into the soil. That was 100% nitrogen applied at a rate of 135 lbs. Per acre. Next was the fertilizer blend applied on the surface of the soil with the roller at a per acre rate of 32 lbs. of nitrogen, 40 lbs. of phosphorous and 32 lbs. of potassium.  

Now, another determining factor of the rice plants leaf and root growth is from the farmer’s irrigation practices. You see, the deeper the water the more energy the plant will put towards growing its leaf. It wants to get out of the water to start photosynthesis. Remember back to my How Organic Rice is Grown in California Episode? Organic farmers will put around 10” of water on their field, after seeding, to drown out the aquatic weed pressure. A side-effect is stringing out the rice plant as it tries to get out of the water.

So when we… have 2” or water on a rice field during the first weeks of the plant’s life we only have a plant that is about 4” tall…but with a strong root system. An organic farmer or conventional farmer with poor water control can have the same age plant at 12” tall, with just a little root system. And that has its own set of problems.

But that’s a topic for the comment section down below and a future episode of Rice Farming TV. For now at least we have a good idea of the early growth stages of our beautiful little rice plants. I hope you enjoyed this episode. It sure was fun for me to lay out all these plants and get a unique perspective of our fields. Give me a thumbs up if you had fun as well.

Thanks for watching and peace out!