When I survey the rice fields on our family farm, I have a sense of satisfaction that the season is well underway.
After the triple-digit heat of the weekend, it’s nice to see warm but not scorching temperatures. Highs around 90 are ideal for growing rice.
Due to delays from the cool spring, rice field maturity is quite variable throughout the Sacramento Valley. I was fortunate to plant my fields in early May, but other rice fields are in a much earlier state of maturity.
On my farm, the rice plants will soon be in the tillering process. That means when the plants are about 40 to 45 days of age, they send extra shoots out. These will eventually become heads, which in the fall will bear the rice kernels.
It’s exciting to see all of the green fields here on the west side of the valley and nurture our new crop towards what we hope will be an abundant harvest in the fall.
Punch Haskell grows rice in Colusa County and is part of a family farming operation that began approximately 60 years ago.