The Rice Farmer
8 Jun 2214 min 44 sec

Miles Farms is not only a producer of corn, soybeans, cotton and wheat, but they also manage a significant rice growing operation. Rice is a unique crop that many people outside of the 6 big rice growing states no very little about. Matt and Robbo talk with Damian about the unique needs, growth and care that is required to grow rice in the delta region. Tune in and learn something about a crop you may not know much about.

00:00 Well greetings from McGee Arkansas. I'm here with Matt miles. One of the founding Mayors are extreme Ag and his right hand man and business 00:06 partner ultimate AG Consulting Rob Deadman, Rob man. We're taking a little departure from our usual. You know, what we talk about corn and soybeans. You've 00:18 even got the wheat challenge going on with the other guys an extreme AG. What are we doing out here? What is this stuff? I've never 00:24 seen this before. No two things. You said you ain't never done today one. I'm standing in a cotton field. Now you're standing in a rocks for you. Okay, I'm gonna rice field. And the first thing I'm 00:33 going to say is a Midwestern boy. No, I should have my glasses on because rice is a rice paddy. I've been seeing as my whole life that I ask a question. Yeah water galoshes. 00:42 Okay rubber boots. Thank you. All right, so I'm not wearing rubber boots. Does that mean that we're in a drought and this is all going to die because certainly rice has to 00:52 be flooded. I know that from growing up. Am I right wrong? All right. Now I'm learning a whole bunch of stuff what's going on? 00:59 So rise is flooded. The perception is at rice is flooded because it's got to live in water rice can live in the same Drive environment is any other crop can 01:08 other than weed control? So we have to keep the fields flooded it will sustain water. 01:13 And and be in and thriving water. So we're able to do our weed control in in a flood type State, you know, instead of having to you know, let It crack 01:22 open so we only flooded for weed suppression. We don't flood it because the rice has to be flooded. No, it needs to be irrigated. So it's got to be it's got to have the same amount of 01:31 moistures any other crop, you know to be reproductive and and have a have a good yield. But as far as having to 01:37 keep it flooded to for it to exist, right if all my chain because already he tried to sneak up behind me and pretend he was a cottonmouth snake biting me and he's already kind 01:46 of doing that thing where you know, you're not from around here is he pulled my chain? Is it true that you can just grow rice just like this sure, you 01:52 know rice rice is a very unique crop. It's it's one of the only crops that we grow. It is the only crop we grow here in Arkansas that being can be grown 02:01 and anaerobic environment being blunt being a flooded or saturated environment rice has a 02:07 special a special stem and it has what's called Pranking myself and that's what prank. Saw rinka myself. All right, tell me what I know 02:16 that's their principles are in the stem formation and that allows for the transfer of oxygen and air down to the roots when we're in an anaerobic environment. So Eric can 02:26 go in here go to here even through the water. So right so right A Serial type crop. It's it's like 02:32 we're oats, correct. It's a whole grain crop. Tell me what differences well, I mean, it's primarily you know rice is a I mean, is it a cereal grain? 02:41 It's a whole grain. All right. So here's the deal if I flooded my wheat field the wheat would all die. You just told me that this thing this parikama thing means that it can 02:50 get water air down to the roots as long as this part is above the above the waterline. Yeah, so think about you remember we're on the movie Rambo when he was 02:59 waiting through the swamp and he had the bamboo shoot above the water and he was getting there through it. So think of the stem of 03:05 rice is is Rambo's little bamboo sheet and it's getting the air around here to the roots. Yeah. So the roots of him, there's the bamboo gets the party, you 03:14 know, if you submerged that in water and you keep it somebody over the top it will actually stretch Out to get out of the water to the sunlight 03:23 and then just lay on top of the water. Like we've had fields that get flooded from you know, we have major floods and like we'll 03:29 have a field next to a canal or drainage ditch it, you know, the ditches full. Yeah and water can't get away and that Rice will actually come out of that water. 03:38 Trying to reach the sunlight, but when it gets out of there, we call it stretched and then it just lay over on the water when the water goes down about 03:44 half the time the rice goes down with it. That's not good. All right you grow by 1100 Acres of rice rice is 03:50 kind one of these specific Fields. I'm looking around the camera is showing this if you have to be listening and not watching we're in 03:56 areas as flat as a pancake a lot of the Delta area where you farm is as Plaza pancake, but this is flatter than flat as a pancake and that's because when you get 04:05 the water out of this well or out of this canal you want this water to go across the whole field, right? Yeah. We want the same depth across the field. That's why 04:14 when you see Contour levies, you know, what you would call Rice paddies, you know, they're on elevation. So if the field is, you know, two tense elevation per hundred 04:23 feet and you'll have a lady over 100 feet that backs the water up to the same level. The difference is it's never 04:29 going to be exactly right in a zero great environment like this you get a lot closer to that plus you use less water. All 04:35 right, tell me about how you plant. Plant rice just with a drill like we would wheat except for in my probably world. We would do that in October and 04:44 you're doing it here in Spring. Yeah. All right. So tall through the process. You said the great thing about rice. It's not it's not equipment intensive. So 04:53 talk to me about what happens when you say we're going to we're gonna take care of this rice field this year start from the beginning well, and then there's three 04:59 different ways to grow rice. You've got Contour levies, which is what the old school what you see with this Nike Air either straight leaves 05:05 and then you've got zero grade rice production, which is what this is. Yeah, and and this uses a lot less equipment a lot less water. And in the new thing 05:14 that's come out in the last five years is row rise. So we're actually planning rice on raised beds. Just like we do our corn in our beans and we're Furrow irrigating 05:23 it. So it's never flooded. We just fur irrigated every five days to keep keep the you know, the and with our technology and herbicides, you know 05:31 in the old days in Asia, they flooded because they didn't have herbicides. We've got better products now to take care of the weed. So 05:37 we don't we maybe you know can do just as well on those raised beds with Furrow irrigation as we could out here. Yeah. Well 05:43 that close, you know, when you figure the difference in real rise is almost comparable to Contour levies. Those are the two this is almost 05:52 a complete different way of doing it. But you're you're you've got Contour levies and realize so if you can put that row up you 05:58 cut that rice on eat it and grow that rice on it. You can come back next year with soybeans on the same route. Okay. When you Contour the levies you build in these big mounds, you know, they'll be knee 06:07 high and they'll be you know, full foot wide and you got to go in there and knock all those down retail the field. That's what start 06:13 back over and especially at five dollar and some diesel this field right here is probably always gonna be rice and 06:19 they're gonna do continuous right here because they've already got the infrastructure set up with the way we can flood it, right? Yeah. 06:25 Will be continuous racing. He never answered my question. So I I come out in March. What do I do I go out here and till it 06:31 so so what we'll do is it's actually won't start in March this starts at the Harvest. We'll take a 06:37 Kelly Diamond Tool and we will tillage equip the tillage tool. It's a 45 we use a one it's 45 foot 06:43 wide and we will go across the the fields after harvest and knock the straw down and then we will get rid of the straw. Typically we use burning 06:52 one of the one of our primary goals when we're raising rocks is to be very sustainable to the environment. So, you know by being sustainable. 07:01 We're trying to put on less nitrogen. We're trying to use less phosphates. We're trying to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that 07:11 occur and then we're also trying to reduce the amount of water. We use. So in the in the fall 07:17 when we run that Kelly diamond, we burn that straw and then we will towards the first of November. We 07:23 will either rainfall or sometimes we will mechanically are, you know with the wells and all flood these fields. Yep, and and that's 07:32 for two purposes. It's Habitat for waterfowl. Yep, waterfowl serve, you know, great hunting income great 07:41 Recreation. and also it helps us suppress weed seeds and suppress winter weeds in here. So let me float. 07:51 It will be flood after harvest which is somewhere around what September? Okay, usually so sometimes the timber we're gonna Harvest this 07:57 then we're gonna flood it after that and it's gonna be that we can bring people in like me that want to go duck hunting or we can just we also benefiting because 08:03 it's keeping it from growing up in a bunch of weed patch. Sure. All right, and then what happens in Spring? All right, so we come in here in the spring. Usually, we'll 08:09 take the water off. They'll be good. You can't you can't come out here and do we're oh, yes, we can. Oh you can there is another form of 08:15 planting rice and as a real great called water seed that's where we leave the water on. We're like an airplane. We fly the seed 08:21 in the water broadcast we broadcast it. Well after germinate and come through the water. It'll do that. Yeah, not gonna told you to 08:27 come through the water all ready to come through the dirt, but it won't come through dirt and water got it. All right, so you can broadcast it 08:33 via airplane when it's all flooded, but you generally don't so your method is you dry it off you till it. 08:40 Now we try not to till it we try to keep rice we try to do rice with this minimum amount of tillages we can yeah depends on the fall before if we run it we have to tell it if we 08:49 don't run it, we don't if we don't ever rut the field it'll be continuous no till got it and then you're going to no till 08:55 in with your drill. It's on what seven inch rows seven half inch rows, right? And then then what flooded forget about it now, so we start the the weak control 09:04 program. We lay use a lot of pre-emergence products. The best weed. We see in a rice fields the 09:10 ones we never see so we try to keep them below ground. But the ones that do get by us, then we'll make a poster emergency application and that's 09:16 gonna be about like it is right now about six inches. Yeah. This rice has been sprayed. They're waiting to 09:22 get the fertilizer on it. That's be the next step with and we'll apply with an airplane the granular fertilizer. 09:28 And and then they'll bring the flood got it. So you hit it with application of herbicide and then you flood it. And then it's gonna stay we're gonna keep it flooded until it's 09:37 time to so it's got heads on it. We were ready to harvest. Yeah. So in that process we we do what's called alternate wedding 09:43 and drying it's a greenhouse gas emissions reducing process. It also helps extract nutrients 09:50 from deeper in the soil. It brings them up. Every time we drive the soil. It brings nutrients. That means we flood it. Then we dry it then we float then 09:56 we dry it. That's exactly right. How many times we doing this? What's the cycle, you know every 20 to 24 days depends 10:02 on the weather, you know, but that that's what we try to do. It would be fine. If you didn't do that, but this gets you bigger yields 10:08 get you bigger yield. Well, we're realizing as we don't have to have a flood on it all the time. Yeah long as we keep the ground moist 10:14 and and moist enough that the residuals hold and we don't have to use the water that you know, that can be used later. So speaking of moisture. What does 10:23 this thing? I'm standing next to it's kind of like I says rice It's got this machine right here. They're not a 10:29 sponsored by the way, but what do we got? What is this? So a friend of mine actually develop these the Isabel family up and 10:35 North Arkansas or Central Arkansas. It's it's just a really convenience tool, but it's a it's PVC pipe. It's got to float on it. 10:44 At this so when the ground is dry, it's that we want this set to where it's showing zero. Yeah, we would pound it we would which we didn't because we didn't want to work that hard today. 10:53 We would pound it all the way down to where this oil float is sitting down there. That's right and showing zero right there. Yep. Okay. All 10:59 right. And then as it floods the float will come up got it gets Tire desired four inches four inches that way when you're out here checking the 11:08 water you can drive by instead of having to get out here and walk these fields you can just merely Drive bomb you 11:14 look you've got four inches of water. You can move on to the next one got it. And so it's a convenient if you get a big old summer storm, it could also go up like this and 11:23 then you you let it go and I don't know we try to hold that water as long as we can if the rice can stand it because there 11:29 goes back to our alternate wedding that's free water. And that's water. We don't have to pay for got it. It depends 11:35 on the size of the plant too. We get 80 inch rain and that size plant. We'll sure right because you don't want to 11:41 be under those come out and do the thing the flash board risers. You know showing you earlier, you know, that's how we control the 11:47 depth of our water. We want it higher lower by adding or subtracting boards. I got time and I learned a lot about rice. I think everybody else has too. 11:54 So what thing did we not cover that everybody needs to know first off. It doesn't need to be flooded. Secondly, you told three different methods of production. Oh a bushel. 12:03 I compare it to wheat. I've actually accidentally called this wheat now a couple of times because to me, it looks like a wheat field part of 12:10 this looks like you know, it's a grassy green plant not there. That looks like real then I was just curious. Yeah. Do me explain what Colossians 12:16 are again too. I've got lots. Okay. All right. So anyway 60 pounds to a bushel of wheat. Last time I checked 12:22 I think that's the right number. Yeah pounds to a bushel of rice 45. Okay. What's the expected average in the Delta area in this kind of production method? What 12:31 do you think would be reasonable for your 1100 Acres of rice that you're gonna produce well our goal, you know is to make 200 12:37 bushels dry. Okay. So that's our goal. If we get 200 bushes we feel like we've had a really good crop you can drainage anywhere 12:43 from you know, a hundred fifty to 225 to 2:30, you know drying and we talk about, you know, we you don't have to run it through. 12:51 A grain drying system the way you do like corn, but you told me that Rice actually comes out a little bit green, right? Yeah, you want to cut 12:57 it grain. See the biggest thing about rice is you don't want to let it fall down. So we are going to cut it at higher moisture 13:03 to try to get it out for the hurricane season. So you can cut about 70 acres and a day with a normal combine one 13:09 of our combines of rice standing you cut 20 to 25. It's land on the ground. I see so it's actually pretty slow Harvest. Oh, yeah, it's one of the slowest Harvest 13:18 as we have and you told me something interesting you said rice is really hard on your combine. Absolutely and that's just because the how hard 13:24 it is nice the braces of the hole that it's in got it. What do we not cover here? We're talking about rice production in the Delta region or anywhere else. Rob rice is 13:33 a great carrier for your gravy. I like rice a lot when it's in my Sushi and that's really about the time but be right anything we didn't cover that. We think we should have to 13:42 do our or do our service here of explaining rice. No, not really, you know, we're just proud to be able to grow it. It's kind of unique to it's a unique 13:51 Unique crop to the United States Arkansas is the largest. It has a lot largest amount of acres in the United States. And so it's kind of fun being able to grow something like that something that 14:00 you know, you go straight from here to the mill and then it's put on your table. So that's our that's our only product we grow that's not a you know, I'm like 14:09 corn and soybeans. It doesn't go through a pig or through a processing or whatever. All right. His name is Matt miles. He is 14:16 one of the founders of extreme AG. His name is Rob Deadman, ultimate egg Consulting and a business partner too miles Farms. My name is Damian Mason come at you from what I would 14:25 call to Rice Paddy. But instead we're gonna call it easy real great zero grade rice farming here in the Delta Region for more 14:31 great information insights and cool stuff. Go to extreme egg that farm share this with your friends and go look at all the cool stuff. We've recorded till next time I'm Damian mace.

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