Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer science testing to begin on site July 24

 We are about to begin our summer testing on the AFRI Rice Culture site on Wednesday, July 24 at 10 am at the site. This day will be open to students involved in the project only, however in a few weeks we will announce a Saturday date that we would like to invite the public out to check out the site and testing of the rice field.

Right now the rice is growing enough so we can test to see if any of the numbers are changing. We will be conducting weekly tests of the site to see what kinds of changes we are seeing.

During this past week we constructed a fence of bird netting around the rice field to hopefully keep some of the birds out. The rice isn't going to get any bigger if the ducks that make their home on the island don't stop eating the rice plants. These aren't wild ducks. These are ducks that live on the island and have had their wings clipped and belong to the island's caretaker. Since they are fed grass they think the rice is theirs to eat as well. Hopefully the netting will keep them out.

We also started another test on the rice by adding nutrients to the water. We added a nitrogen mix called NPK to see if we can quicken the growing rate of the rice on Jersey Island. Since the weather here is about 10 degrees cooler than in West Sacramento County and Yolo County where a lot of rice is usually grown, the rice yields won't be as high here. We're checking to see what the effects on the rice will be with the nutrients added.

We may not see much difference this year as we had such cool, windy temperatures early in the season, even over the past week, that we don't anticipate a really good growth this year. Hopefully next year's crop will be better.

For us it really doesn't matter much because we are just growing the rice to test the hypothesis. If it does not yield rice before the harvest date we aren't going to worry much, which is a good thing since we aren't doing as well as we hoped.

We keep reminding ourselves..."We are the Delta Science Center...not the Delta Ag Center." ; )

If there is anyone with a better green thumb then us would would like to help out with this project we will be continuing with this project for two more years and would love whatever help people are willing to provide. In the meantime we'll keep working and see what happens with this continuing adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment