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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
AREC rice research program results ( G.H. Snyder)
Weed control in rice ( J.A. Dusky )
Rice - water relationships (S.F. Shih)
Should I buy a rice combine? ( J. Alvarez )
Rice production and improvement in California (J. N. Rutger )
Benefits of rice production on a wildlife refuge (E. McIntosh )
How do you tell consumers about rice..what the rice council is doing for you (C. Wilson)
The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
elle Glade AREC Research Report EV-1981-3
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
FOURTH ANNUAL RICE FIELD DAY
*' ..,. ^.*
BELLE GLADE, FL.
JULY 7 1981
RICE FIELD DAY
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER
BELLE GLADE, FLORIDA
JULY 7, 1981
Kenneth D. Shuler, Presiding
Palm Beach County Extension Agent
J. M. Good
AREC Rice Research Program Results
G. H. Snyder
Weed Control in Rice
J. A. Dusky
S. F. Shih
Should I Buy a Rice Combine?
Rice Production and Improvement in California
J. N. Rutger
Benefits of Rice Production on a Wildlife Refuge
How do You Tell Consumers About Rice...
What The Rice Council is Doing for You
Wild Rice Potential in Florida
K. D. Shuler
Dutch Treat Lunch
AREC RICE RESEARCH PROGRAM RESULTS
G. H, Snyder
Rice research conducted by the AREC-Belle Glade staff during 1980 and
the spring of 1981 included such factors as 1) varieties, 2) nitrogen,
3) calcium silicate slag, 4) planting dates, 5) P-K fertilization, 6)seedling
chlorosis, 7) water relationships and 8) weed control. The latter two sub-
jects will be delt with elsewhere in this Field Day report by the respective
scientists leading these programs.
Trials Covering Varieties, Nitrogen, Silicon and Planting Dates
Methods and Materials
Four long grain varieties were drill seeded in February,March, April and
August in a fertilized Pahokee muck soil. Three to 5 weeks after seeding
weeds were controlled with propanil and the plots ( 6 rows, spaced at 25cm,
6m long) were flooded. The flood was maintained through harvest for all
plantings and through the ratoon crops for the March and April plantings.
Prior to planting, calcium silicate slag was incorporated into main
plots at the rate of 20,000 kg/ha. Varieties constituted sub-plots. At the
time of panicle differentiation nitrogen from urea was applied to the center
two rows of one half of each sub-plot at the rate of 30 kg/ha, and was reap-
plied 7 to 10 days later (the nitrogen treatment was not included in the
February planting). Nitrogen was applied at the same rate to the same plots
shortly after harvest and 7 to 10 days thereafter for ratoon crops.
Four-meter sections of the center two rows of each plot were hand har-
vested. A count of harvested heads was made and rough rice yield (12%
Professor, University of Florida, Agricultural Research and Education
Center, Belle Glade, Fl. 33430.
moisture) was recorded. Kernel weights were determined. The yield compo-
nents, a) head weight and b) number of kernels per head, were calculated from
the above directly measured components.
Results and Discussion
Plant crop yields generally were highest in the February planting and
declined as planting date was delayed (Table 1). August planted rice
yielded approximately one half that of the February planting. The March and
April plantings averaged 84 and 80% of the February planting, respectively.
The March and April ratoon crops averaged 50 and 55% of their respective plant
crops. Unfortunately, these time effect trends can not be examined statisti-
cally since only one year's data are involved.
Lebonnet plant crop yields generally exceeded those of the other va-
rieties (Table 1). Labelle yields were always among the poorest. Lebonnet
out yielded Labelle by 35, 37, 21, and 30% in the February, March, April and
August plant crops, respectively. However, Lebonnet and Labelle ratoon crops
were statistically equivalent. Starbonnet ratoon crops averaged only 44% of
the plant crop yield, whereas Labelle ratoon crops averaged about 66% of the
palnt crop yields.
Nitrogen significantly affected both plant crop and ratoon crop yields
of all plantings tested (Table 1). However, whereas plant crop yields were
increased by nitrogen, ratoon crop yields were decreased. Since the same
plots received nitrogen in both instances (plant and ratoon crops), it can
not be determined which application caused the lower ratoon crop yields or
whether the reduced yields resulted from the combination of both applications.
At current nitrogen costs and rice prices, it appears that the income gained
from the increase in yields obtained from the nitrogen applications would
substantially exceed the cost of application. However nitrogen fertilization
may result in serious lodging, although lodging was minimal in our tests.
Additionally, if organic soil fields are drained for prolonged periods during
the growth of the rice nitrogen responses may be lessened.
Calcium silicate slag applications significantly increased the yields
of February, April and August planted rice (Table 1). The economics of this
response are unclear since slag is not widely available in the market.
The period from planting to harvest was considerably reduced in the
March, April and August plantings as compared to the February planting (Table
2). In.general,the planting to harvest period increased in the order:
Labelle, Lebonnet, RU7703075 and Starbonnet. Approximately 70 days were re-
quired for ratoon crops.
The yield component analysis (Table 3) helps explain the yield data.
For example, in the plant crops nitrogen had little or inconsistent effects
on kernel (grain) weight (Wt/M) and head count (#Hds). However the number of
kernels (grains) per head (#Hd) was always increased by nitrogen fertiliza-
tion, resulting in greater head weight (HDWT) and,of course, higher yield.
For the ratoon crops, a considerable reduction in the head count was as-
sociated with nitrogen fertilization. Trends for increased head weight,
head count, and number of kernels per head were generally observed for slag
applications, although not all trends in all plantings were statistically
Lebonnet generally had the heaviest heads (HDWT) and Labelle and
RU7703075 usually had the lightest heads, although exceptions occurred in
some plantings (Table 3). RU7703075 always had among the greatest head count
(#Hds), and this trend was especially evident in the ratoon crops. Starbon-
net had among the greatest number of kernels per head (#/Hd) except in the
August planting. Lebonnet kernels generally were the heaviest (Wt/M) and ra-
toon crop kernel weight-appeared to belower than that of the plant crop.
Although there usually were considerably more heads per unit area in the
ratoon crop, relative to the plant crop, head weight was greatly reduced in
the ratoon crop. This appears to be primarily a result of reduced number
of kernels per head in the ratoon crop.
P-K Fertilization Trials
Methods and Materials
On April 17, 1980, Lebonnet, Newrex and Mars were planted in both un-
fertilized Pahokee muck plots and in plots amended with 930 kg/ha (830 Ib/A)
of a 0-8-24 fertilizer. Prior to fertilization the soil averaged 5.6 and 62
in P and K, respectively, by the Belle Glade-AREC soil test procedure. After
fertilization,P and K averaged 7.7 and 195, respectively, with a pH of 7.0.
A slag vs. no slag variable was present as a result of slag application to
the study area in 1979. The data have not been analyzed statistically as yet.
Results and Discussion
There was no consistent effect of slag application on yield (Table 4).
Yield differences among varieties were not great. Newrex yield averaged 89%
that of Lebonnet, and Mars averaged 92% of Lebonnet. There is no consistent
evidence that fertilization improved yield. Thus it appears that the Cooper-
ative Extension Service critical soil test levels of 5 and 100 for P and K,
respectively, are reasonable, at least for Pahokee muck.
The term "seedling chlorosis" refers to a condition in which rice seed-
lings germinate satisfactorily but upon emergence turn yellow or nearly white
(chlorotic) and essentially cease to grow. Many seedlings die, although some
regain normal color and resume growth.
Several experiments have been conducted in growers' fields during the
past year in an effort to gain a better understanding of the seedling chlo-
rosis problem which appears in certain regions of the Everglades. Some of
this work is still in progress. A brief summary of these studies is included
here. A detailed report will be published when the work is completed.
Seedling chlorosis has been corrected experimentally numerous times
during the last three years by drenching the soil around affected plants with
a solution of ferrous sulfate (FeSO4.7H20) at the rate of 30 g ferrous sulfate
per linear meter of row. Rates appreciably lower than this fail to correct
the condition. Since 30 g/m amounts to 1687 kg/ha (1505 Ib/A) for rice
planted with a row spacing of 18cm (7 inches), correction by this method is
most likely not economically feasible. However we are unaware of any other
corrective measures which produce entirely satisfactory results. Flooding
generally alleviates the problem in plants that are not killed by the flood.
Seedling chlorosis has been prevented experimentally by drilling ferrous
sulfate (monohydrate or heptahydrate) at the rate of 4 g per linear meter
(225 kg/ha or 201 Ib/A for an 18cm row spacing). Growers have successfully
used rates one half or less than this. We believe the seed and ferrous sul-
fate must be drilled in close proximity to each other for successful preven-
tion of seedling chlorosis on severely affected soils. Insoluble iron sources
such as ferric oxide (Fe203) have proven unsatisfactory. Aluminum sulfate
also appears to prevent the condition, but higher rates are required than are
needed for ferrous sulfate.
In one study the varieties Labelle, Lebonnet and Belmont were observed
to be more susceptible to seedling chlorosis than other varieties tested
(Mars, Nortai, S-201, M-9 and L-201).
Predicting Seedling Chlorosis Incidence
Soil samples have been collected from most all areas of the Everglades
in which rice has been grown during the last three years. Preliminary anal-
yses have been conducted on these samples. Upon ashing in a muffle furnace,
soils from regions in which seedling chlorosis was a problem have a more
white appearing ash than soils from areas in which no chlorosis was observed.
Ash from the latter soils appears yellow or reddish. The iron content of
the latter soils generally is higher than that of soils prone to seedling
chlorosis. If these observations remain consistent, a tentative soil anal-
ysis service will be offered to Everglades rice growers by the Belle Glade-
AREC to help identify soils in which seedling chlorosis is likely to occur.
Table 1--Effect of variety, nitrogen and slag on rough rice yields (kg/ha) for
the four planting dates of the 1980 AREC-Belle Glade trials.
Feb. 14 March 14 April15. August 5
Plant Plant Ratoon Plant Ratoon Plant
Factor Crop Crop Crop Crop. Crop Crop
Starbonnet 8073a1'2 7005b 3103a 6223b 2596c 3859b
Lebonnet 9042a 7623a 3708a 7204a 3794ab 4821a
Labelle 6715b 5579c 3459a 5955c 4134a 3695b
RU77030753 8554a 7032b 3383a 6389b 3650b 3859b
-N4 -- 6670 3632 6102 3711 4140
+N -- 7005 3281 6783 3120 4410
Significance5 ** ** **
- Slag6 7880 6824 3506 6050 3521 4098
+ Slag 8840 6859 3415 6835 3309 4460
Significance + NS NS ** NS +
To convert kg/ha to lbs/A multiply by 0.892.
2Values within a column followed by the same letter are not significantly
different at 0.05 by the Duncan's Multiple Range Test.
A semi-dwarf experimental variety supplied by Dr. Bollich (USDA, Beaumont,
Texas). This is a close predecessor to the variety Belmont released in 1981.
4For the plant crop 30 kg N/ha as urea was applied at panicle differentiation
and again 7 to 10 days later. For the ratoon crop 30 kg/ha was applied just
after plant crop harvest and again 7 to 10 days later.
5**,* + and NS represent statistical significance at 0.01, 0.05, 0.10 and
Not Significant, respectively.
Calcium silicate slag incorporated at 20 T/ha (8.9 english tons/acre)
Table 2.--Date (Month/Year) and days from planting to harvest and from
plant crop harvest to ratoon harvest for the 1980 trials.
Labelle Lebonnet RU7703075 Starbonnet
Planting Date Date Days Date Days Date Days Date Days
Second Ratoon Crop
March 11/21 70
Table 3.--Yield component analysis, including Head weight (HDWT
of grains per head (#/Head) and weight of 1000 grains
dates of the 1980 trials.
(g/Head)), Number of heads per M2 (#Hds),Number
(WT/M) for plant and ratoon crops of four planting
HDWT #Hds #/Hd Wt/M HDWT #Hds
IMeans within a column followed by the same
letter are not different by Duncans Multiple Range Test (0.05),
2 + NS represent significance at 0.01, 0.05, 0.0 and Not significant, respectively.
**, *, +, NS represent significance at 0.01, 0.05, 0.10 and Not significant, respectively.,
Plant Crop Ratoon
HDWT #Hds #/Hd Wt/M HDWT #Hds
#/Hd Wt/M HDWT #Hds
* ** *
Table 4.--Yield (Kg/ha) obtained from an April 17, 1980 planting of three
rice Varieties, with and without Slag and P-K fertilization in
trials conducted at the AREC-Belle Glade.
Variety Slag1 Fert.2 Yield
Lebonnet 0 0 5311
0 1 5341
1 0 6860
1 1 5781
Newrex 0 0 4926
0 1 5230
1 0 5459
1 1 5088
Mars 0 0 5389
0 1 5263
1 0 5093
1 1 5629
1Applied at 20
t/ha the previous year.
2830 lb/A of a 0-8-24. Without fertilization Soil test P and K averaged
5.6 and 62, after fertilization they averaged 7.7 and 195. pH was 7.0.
WEED CONTROL IN RICE
J. A. Dusky
In 1980 and 1981 trials have been conducted to evaluate herbicides for
weed control in rice grown on organic soils. Rice acreage has increased
during the past four years in the Everglades, yet, few herbicides are avail-
able to the grower. During the spring of 1980, a preliminary trial was con-
ducted. In 1981, small plot trials have been conducted at four locations.
In addition,large trials (10-40 A) with Bolero (thiobencart) have been con-
Rice (Lebonnet) was planted at a rate of 80 Ib/A. Eight days after
seeding herbicide applications were made. The rice was in the spike stage
with the weeds, predominantly nutsedge (Cyperus esculenta ), in the two-leaf
stage. The compounds evaluated were Stam (propanil), NC20484, Bolero (thio-
bencarb) and Ronstar (oxadiazon) at three rates and in combination with pro-
Experimental design was a randomized complete block with plots 600 ft2
with three replications. Weed control and phytotoxicity ratings were made
1, 2 and 4 weeks after treatment. Four weeks after treatment growth data was
collected. At harvest yield data was recorded.
The results for weed control and phytotoxicity are given in Table 1.
NC20484 (0.5 Ib/A) (all rates are lb ai/A) in combination with propanil (3.0
Ib/A ) gave 90 to 100% control 2 and 4 weeks after treatment. Propanil (3.0
lb/A) alone and all rates of Ronstar (0.75, 1.5, 3.0 lb/A) gave 80 to 90%
Weed Scientist, University of Florida, Agricultural Reseach and Educa-
tion Center, Belle Glade, Fl 33430.
control 2 and 4 weeks after treatment. Ronstar was particularly phytotoxic
to the rice but this rice did exhibit some recovery by 4 weeks after treat,-
ment. All treatments were slightly phytotoxic 2 weeks after treatment. How-
ever, most had recovered by 4 weeks after treatment.
Examining growth data, dry weight, and number of leaves per plant, it
was found Ronstar decreased both dry weight per plant and height of the plants
(Table 2). However, only the highest rate, 3.0 lb/A, decreased the number of
leaves per plant.
At harvest an area 2 rows by 4 meters was harvested. The number of heads
was counted and the weight of the thrashed grain was determined. These re-
sults are given in Table 3. Yield was expressed as cwt/A. High rates of
Ronstar (1.5, 3.0 lb/A) decreased both number of heads and yield. NC20484 in
combination with propanil gave the highest yield. Bolero (2.0 Ib/A) in com-
bination with propanil also had a high yield. The yield for the control is
also high. Few weeds were present at harvest time in the check plots. There-
fore decreases in yield due to treatments is probably a combination of com-
petition from weeds and phytotoxicity of the compounds. The area surrounding
the small plots was harvested commercially and had a yield of 33.3 cwt/A.
This area was not treated with any herbicides. This large decrease in yield
can be attributed to the extremely high weed pressure occurring during the
growing period which was not necessarily present in the small plots for un-
From these preliminary results obtained in 1980 it appeared that prop-
anil, NC20484, and Bolero were all compounds to be further evaluated. Ronstar
was found to be extremely phytotoxic to the rice which did cause decreases in
The first set of trials during the spring of 1981, consisted ofseven her-
bicide compounds being evaluated, alone and in combination with propanil.
These compounds, their rates, and time of application are given in Table 4.
At location 1 variety Mars was planted. At location 2 and 4 variety Lebonnent
was planted and at location 3 variety Newrex was planted. The experimental
design was a randomized complete block with three replications, each plot
being 600 ft2.
The second set of trials are being conducted with Bolero and Propanil.
At three various locations the treatments are Bolero (4.0 lb ai/A), preemer-
gence to weeds (30 A), Bolero (4.0 lb ai/A), early postemergence to weeds (40
A), Bolero (3.0 lb ai/A) plus Propanil (3.0 lb ai/A), early postemergence to
the weeds (60 A) and Bolero (3.0 lb ai/A) plus Propanil (2.0 lb ai/A), early
postemergence to the weeds (60 A).
Weed control, phytotoxicity, and yields data are being obtained from all
the trials. Preliminary data for two locations is given in Table 5. Blazer
was extremely phytotoxic to the rice but is demonstrating recovery. However,
Blazer provided excellent control as did NC20484 in combination with propanil,
and Bolero in combination with propanil. Superior weed control was obtained
with almost all the compounds at location 3 in comparison to location 2. The
predominant weeds species at location 3 was spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosa)
whereas the predominant species at location 2 were nutsedge (Cyperus escu-
lenta) and broadleaf panicum (Panicum adspersum).
Results indicate that almost all.the compounds being tested provide ac-
ceptable weed control with little or noinjury to the rice. It is becoming
quite evident that certain compounds in combination with propanil provide weed
control superior to propanil alone especially with respect to grass and nut-
sedge weed species.
Table 1.--Weed Control and Phytotoxicity ratings 2 and 4 weeks after herbicide treatment *
WEED CONTROL PHYTOTOXICITY
NC20484 + Propanil
Bolero + Propanil
Ronstar + Propanil
0.5 lb/A + 3.0 Ib/A
2.0 lb/A + 1.5 Ib/A
1.5 lb/A + 1.5 Ib/A
Average of Three Replications.
Weed Control Ratings: E-90-100%,G-80-90%,F-70-80%,P-60-70%,VP- <60%.
Phytotoxicity Ratings: 0- No Damage,l- Tip Burn,2- Tip Burn and Stunting.
weeks after herbicide application.*
DRY WT. (G)/PLANT
+ 3.0 lb/A
+ 1.5 lb/A
+ 1.5 lb/A
Average of three replication
Average of three replications.
All values with same letter are not significantly different by Duncans Multiple Range Test (0.05).
_ __ __ ~_~___ _
Table 2.--Growth data fiur
Table 3.--19180 Rice yield results!
NC20484 + Propanil
Bolero + Propanil
Ronstar + Propanil
+ 3.0 lb/A
+ 1.5 lb/A
+ 1.5 1b/A
Average of three replications.
All values with same letter are not significantly different by Ouncans Multiple Range Test (0.05).
Table 4,--Herbicide Treatments and time of application at four locations.
Treatment (lb ai/A)
4.0 lb/A + 3.0
4.0 lb/A + 1.5
Pre + EP 44
3.0 Ib/A + 3.0 lb/A
Pre + EP
Pre + EP
Treatment (lb ai/A)
Propanil 0.5 lb/A + 3.0 lb/A
+ Propanil 0.75 lb/A + 1.5 lb/
+ Propanil 0.5 lb/A + 1.5 Ib/
EP Early Postenergence
Table 5.--Weed Control and Phytotoxicity ratings two weeks after treatment,1
MoDown + Propanil
Blazer + Propanil
NC20484 + Propanil
+ 3.0 lb/A
+ 3.0 lb/A
+ 1.5 lb/A
+ 1.5 lb/A
Average of three Replications
Weed Control Rating 0=Noie, 10=Complete
Phytotoxicity Rating 0=None, 10=Dead
All Values with same letter are not significantly different by Duncans Multiple Range Test'(0.05)
S. F. Shih
Considerable water is used in South Florida for agricultural produc-
tion. Unfortunately, water users face two critical problems. The first
is the increase in domestic water use that has resulted from the 45% pop-
ulation increase during the past decade. This affects the agricultural
water supply and its impact will become a serious problem as the time pro-
gresses. The second problem is the uneven rainfall distribution in Florida.
For instance, the yearly rainfall cycle in south Florida consists of a May
through October warm-rainy season, during which about 75 percent of the to-
tal rainfall occurs, and a six-month relatively dry winter season. In some
years the dry season develops into extended drought with little rain and a
marked irrigation requirement. In contrast, the wet season requires drainage
fur most crop production.
The area rainfall not obly fluctuates significantly in wet and dry sea-
sonrS of the year, but also deviates extremely on year to year basis, with 85
inches being the highest and 35 inches being the lowest annual rainfall re-
corded. For agriculture, the second problem is compounded by increasing
domestic water usage, For instance, in this year's drought, the South
Florida Water Management District had to request a 35% cutback in agricul-
tural water use during May, 1981.
To help cope with these problems, a detailed study on agricultural water
Hydrologist, University of Florida, Agricultural Research and Education
Center, Belle Glade, Fl. 33430. This study was partially supported by the
South Florida Water Management District, West Palm Beach, Fl 33402.
requirement (i.e. Evapotranspiration) has been needed. Rice production is
increasing in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), but information on
water needed to grow rice in the EAA is very scanty. Consequently, the South
Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Institute of Food and Agri-
cultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida, initiated a joint project
in 1979 to study the water requirement and water use efficiency for rice pro-
duction in the EAA. The specific objectives of this project were:
(1) to measure the water requirements in spring, summer and fall crops;
(2) to study variation in water demand with the growth stage;
(3) to measure the water use efficiency for rice production, and
(4) evaluate the possibility of adjusting planting dates according to the
availability of water stored in the Lake Okeechobee.
There are several approaches that can be used to estimate evapotrans-
piration. A method utilizing lysimeters located in the AREC rice experiment
plots and at a remote location was used during 1979 and 1980. In these stud-
ies the water requirement for spring, summer and fall planted crops varied
from 28.98-34.65, 24.02-32.99 and 15.59-19.76 inches, respectively.
Evapotranspiration Variation with Growth Stage
The ET values increased steadily up to 9 to 10 weeks after flooding,
and leveled off for 3 to 4 weeks. The ET declined in the last two weeks be-
fore harvest. This suggested that the ET was low during the vegetative
stage, and then increased as the reproductive stage approached and remained
high during the flowering and fruiting stages. The results also showed that
the ET during the critical reproductive phases was relatively larger than
that in the vegetative stage.
Water and Yield Relationships
The water-to-dry biomass (straw + grain) yield ratio was not much dif-
ferent among growing seasons. Based on our studies, the dry biomass yield
as related to the ET can be expressed as:
DB = -4210.02 + 687.49 ET (R2= 0.94) (1)
where DB is the dry biomass yield in lb/acre, and ET is the evapotranspira-
tion in inches.
The average water required to produce 1 pound of grain yield (12% mois-
ture) varied from 750 to 1140 pounds. The relationship between the grain
yield and the ET can be expressed as:
GY = -3568.08 + 396.76 ET (R2= 0.92) (2)
where GY is the grain yield in lb/acre and ET is the evapotranspiration in
Equation 2 can be rearranged to predict the water requirement as a
function of yield. The equation is:
ET = 8.99 + .00252 GY (3)
For instance, if the grain yield is expected to be 5000 lb/acre, then the
total ET would be about 22 inches. The average ET would be 0.2 inches per
Planting Date Adjustment
According to these studies, spring and summer rice crops consume more
water than fall crops. The period of highest water consumption starts about
2 months after planting. If the spring crop is planted in early March, the
critical water demand will be in May, which coincides with the highest water
demand from Lake Okeechobee. If rainfall in the wet season, which is mainly
stored in Lake Okeechobee for use during the dry season, is below normal and
rainfall during the early part of the dry season is not in excess of normal,
some water shortage problems may arise near the end of the dry season. Under
these circumstances, delaying the planting date might be considered so the
period of critical water demand will not coincide with the end of dry season.
The average monthly rainfall for 52 years' period (1924-75) is listed
in Table 1 along with the 1980-81 figures. There was about 17.92" less rain-
fall than normal during the 1980 wet season and 4.59" in the 1981 dry season.
Due to this 40% shortage of rainfall in both seasons, a serious drought arose
at the end of the dry season.
Table 1,--Comparison of 1980-81 rainfall pattern with the normal rainfall condi-
Wet season Dry season
Year May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr Total
....----- ------------------ -inches---------- --------- --
Nor- 4.74 9.08 8,58 8.21 8.82 5.65 1.74 1.80 1.99 1.97 3.21 2.96 58.75
sum of wet season 45,08" sum of dry season 13.67"
1980- 6.51 1.47 6.97 3.73 7.46 1.02 3.42 0.73 0.50 2.42 1.52 0.46 36.24
sum of wet season 27.16" sum of dry season 9.08"
In Table 2, a comparison is shown between rice evapotranspiration
(assuming a 5000 lb/A yield) and normal rainfall, month by month, for plant-
ings made in mid-March, mid-April, mid-May, and mid-June. This Table il-
lustrates that, under normal summer rainfall conditions, only for a mid-March
planting would rice evapotranspiration exceed rainfall during some months.
Table 2--Comparison of normal rainfall and rice evapotranspiration (assuming
a 5000 Ib/A yield)for four planting dates.
Month Rainfall March April May June
March 3.21 1.61
April 2.96 4.40 1.63
May 4.74 6.21 3.07 1.66
June 9.08 7.44 5.82 3.65 1.73
July 8.58 2.34 8.43 7.76 5.06
August 8.21 3.05 7.08 7.68
Sept. 8.82 1.85 4.46
Oct. 5.65 -- -- 3.07
SHOULD I BUY A RICE COMBINE?:
AN APPLICATION OF BREAK-EVEN ANALYSIS
The increase in rice acreage experienced in the Everglades agricul-
tural area (EAA) during the past few years has challenged producers in many
areas of farm management. Perhaps one of the most important decisions at
present, which applies to both small and large producers, is to establish
minimum acreage at which it pays to own a combine versus custom hire. Based
on past experience the important factor seems to be timeliness of the har-
vest operation. To prevent unnecessary yield losses, large producers must
know the number of combines needed while small producers want to find out
whether or not they can justify the investment.
Rational decisions can be made not only when adequate information is
available, but when the proper tool is used in a correct manner. The pur-
pose of this report is to demonstrate how to solve the problem by means of
a farm management technique called break-even analysis.
Definition and Uses of Break-Even Analysis
Break-even analysis can be broadly defined as a technique to determine
the point where zero profits occur. Acres of output is usually the variable
of interest and the answer can be obtained by solving a formula or develop-
ing a chart, or both. This technique has been widely used by economists
working in farm management problems.
Area Economist, Food and Resource Economics Department, University
of Florida, Agricultural Research and Education Center, Belle Glade, Fl.
The most important application has been in the area of costs and re-
turns for different enterprises, where costs and returns are assumed linear
within the relevant range of the charts. The acres of output needed to a-
chieve any given profit can be read directly from a chart of acres vs. costs
and returns, or it can be calculated using the following formula:
Acres of output Total fixed costs + profits
(Total returns) (variable costs)
By plugging in zero profits, the break-even point is found, while different
levels of desirable profits will indicate the acres of output needed to a-
chieve them. Examples of this application are numerous and varied in the
The technique has also been used to determine the relationship between
machine ownership and custom work (1;6;9,pp.301-2;1O,pp.15-18). To arrive
at the number of acres that justify the purchase of a machine, the following
formula is solved:
Acres of output = Total annual fixed costs
(custom rate/acre) (variable costs/acre)
The answer establishes minimum acreage at which it pays to own machinery
versus custom hire.
An Example for the EAA
There are of course a number of factors that should be taken into ac-
count before evaluating the justifying formula. For example, the size and
power of the combine, whether to buy a new or used combine, the company se-
lected, etc. These topics are beyond the scope of this paper and have al-
ready been addressed in the literature (7).
Costs Affecting the Investment Decision
The total costs of owning and operating any machine or power unit are
dividedinto fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs are those which remain
relatively constant whether or not the machine is used. Variable or oper-
ating costs are a function of annual use and thus vary with machine use.
The following break-down lists both costs separately:
Fixed Costs1/ Variable Costs
Interest on investment Fuel
Each rice producer has to generate numbers for the formula and make
several assumptions after careful study of his own situation. The assump-
tions made in this report are intended to provide general guidelines.
Combine: 16' header size
List price: $94,000
Purchase price: $72,300
-Years owned: 10
-Salvage value: $19,685./
L/Housing costs have been excluded because in the EAA rice producers
have housing facilities for their farm machines. Thus, the depreciation on
machines due to weather is transferred from the machine to the available
-ye fvage value has been computed with the formula: RFV1 x XLP x
RFV2, where XLP is initial list price; RFV1 and RFV2 are a first year cor-
rection factor and a component of the standard declining balance depreciation
equation, respectively; and years is the length of ownership. Thus, 0.635 x
94,000 x 0.89510 = $19,685.
-Hours of annual use: 200
-Hours of mechanical life: 2,000
-Combine performance: 2.5 acres/hr.
Interest rate: 14 percent.
Insurance and tax rates: 1.5 percent.
Price of diesel fuel: $1.05/gal.
-Operator cost: $6/hr.
Custom work charge: $40/acre.
Solving the Problem
The first step is calculating total fixed costs per year:
Depreciation3 = Purchase price Salvage value = $72,300-$19,685 = $5,261.50.
Years owned 10
Interest4-/ (Purchase price + Salvage value) x interest rate
= ($72,300 + $19,685) x 0.14 = $6,438.95
Insurance and Taxes = Average investment per year x insurance and tax rates
= $72,300 x 0.15 = $108.45
Total annual fixed costs are ($5,261.50 + $6,438.95-+ $108.45) = $11,809
The second step is calculating total variable costs per acre:
-Although the straight-line method is used, other alternate methods
(declining balance and sum-of-the-digits) can be selected depending on the
owner's situation and future plans.
-This charge represents the opportunity cost of money since once- the
money is invested in the combine it can not be used to purchase other pro-
Repairs- = -Purchase price x 0.40
Hrs. of mechanical life x Combine performance
= $72,300 x 0.40 = $5.78
2,000 x 2.5
Fuel = List price x Fuel cost multiplier x Price/gal.
1,000 x Combine performance
= $94,000 x 0.048 x 1.05 = $1.90
S 1,000 x 2.5
Lubrication6/ = Fuel cost x 0.15 = $1.90 x 0.15 = $0.28
Operator = Wage rate/hr. = $6.00 = $2.40
Combine performance 2.5
Total variable costs per acre are $10.36 ($5.78 + $1.90 + $0.28 + 2.40).
Since a $40/acre custom charge has been assumed, all figures to be plugged
into the formula are already available:
Acres of output = $11,809 398
$406 $10.36 398
Therefore, approximately 400 acres or more need to be combined annu-
ally to justify the investment. At that break-even point, ownership and
operating costs just equal the custom rate. The answer obtained of course
is the direct result of the data assumed. Each producer should use the tech-
nique inserting the numbers that best reflect his particular situation.
The use of a break-even chart can be useful for illustrating several
5-It assumes total repairs to be 40 percent of new cost as reported in
(10, p. 13), which implies that the combine will be subjected to average use
during the 10 year period. If different assumptions about :years of owner-
ship or hours of annual use are made, then the denominator would be: Hrs.
of annual use x years owned x combine, performance.
It assumes lubrication costs to be 15 percent of fuel costs.
points. Figure 1 shows an Average Total Cost curve ATC, where the total
costs ($11,809 + (398 x $10.36) = $15,932.28) have been divided by several
levels of acreage. It becomes obvious that overestimating the break-even
point, where the ATC curve just equals the custom rate, is better that under-
estimating it. As we move to the left of point A losses become increasingly
dramatic while relative smaller gains are obtained as we move to the right.
It is also obvious that, everything else equal, as the custom rate per acre
increases, the number of acres justifying the purchase of a combine de-
creases and viceversa.
An important aspect to consider when applying break-even analysis is
to examine how changes in the assumptions made affect the answer obtained.
Table 1 shows the relative changes in break-even acreages due to changes in
one variable while the values of the remaining variables used in the above
example remained fixed at the originally specified levels.
The results obtained can be analyzed from two perspectives. The first
one is the direction of change. Those variables with a minus sign in that
column of the table indicate an inverse relationship between the variable
and break-even acreage (e.g., as the number of years of ownership increases
the number of acres justifying the purchasing of the combine decreases).
For those variables with a plus sign the relationship is a direct one (e.g.,
as interest rates go up, break-even acreage also increases).
The second perspective is the relative impact that changes in the dif-
ferent variables exert on break-even acreage. Of the eight variables con-
sidered, the influence of three (insurance and taxes, fuel cost and oper-
ator cost) is almost nihil, while hours of annual use, combine performance
100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
Fig. 1.--Average total cost and custom rate curves at different levels of acreage.
Table 1.--Sensitivity of break-even acreage to changes in several variables
Text example Sensitivity analysis
Variable Value Break-even Range of values 3reak-even Dir. of change
Ye.rs of ownership
Hrs. of annual use
Combine performance (A/hr)
Insurance and tax rates
Diesel fuel cost/gal.
and interest rate exert a relative impact, depending on the level consid-
ered. Years of ownership and custom rate are the most important variables
since minor changes bring about strong responses. It should be pointed out
that changes in the list and purchase prices, although obviously important,
have not been analyzed because many other variables would have to be changed,
making comparisons meaningless.
Additional Factors to Consider
Coward (6) has stated that, in addition to-actual .cotts,-the following
factors should be taken into account: 1) the opportunity cost of labor at
harvest time; 2) alternative possible uses of the necessary capital that
may yield a higher return; 3) timeliness; 4) lack of skill on the farm for
operating the machine; and 5) personal prestigeof machine ownership.
For small farmers, and large ones having some extra harvesting capa-
city, the possibility of doing custom work for others may increase their
returns on the combine investment. Although a relatively new concept, fi-
nancial leasing could also be a better alternative than ownership or custom
As a final point, the advantages and disadvantages of custom hiring,
as listed by Loftsgard et al. (10,p.16), are summarized. The advantages
include: 1) it reduces capital invested in machinery; 2) farmers with small
acreages can produce crops which require equipment they do not own; 3) risk
due to timeliness may be reduced by hiring more than one machine; 4) custom
operators become experts in operating and adjusting specific machines to do
better work, and 5) it frees farm operators labor to perform other jobs.
-/Since such analysis is beyond the objective of this report, the in-
terested reader is referred to (8).
The disadvantages, in addition to higher costs, include: 1) equipment may
not be available when needed; 2) may transport noxious weed seeds to unin-
fested farms, 3) small acreages may be a disadvantage in bargaining with
custom operators; and 4) some custom operators may be careless and do poor
work. Therefore, consideration of the various advantages and disadvantages
of custom hiring, in addition to the cost analysis, can aid rice producers
in making rational machinery investment decisions.
The example presented has intended to provide rice producers with a
practical tool to evaluate the decision to invest in a rice combine.
Based on the assumptions made, which seem to apply to the EAA, it takes
around 400 acres to justify pruchasing the machine, However, as shown by
the sensitivity analysis, the answer changes when different values are plug-
ged in the formula. For that reason, each producer should use the figures
that best reflect his situation. Furthermore, the analysis has only con-
sidered fixed and variable costs excluding the effects that financing or
taxes may exert on cash flows.
(1) Abbit, Ben and Jose Alvarez. "Can You Justify a Mechanical Sugarcane
Harvester?" Belle Glade AREC Research Report EV-1980-1, January
1980. 6 pp.
(2) Berry, Russell L. "Break-Even Analysis: A Practical Tool in Farm
Management." American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 54,
No. 1, Feb. 1972, pp. 121-125.
(3) ___ "How Many Acres Do You Need to Break Even?" Dakota
Farmer, Vol. 81, Dec. 9, 1961, p. 12.
(4) "More Acres Can Cut Fixed Costs." The Farm Quarterly,
Vol. 17, No. 3, Fall 1962, pp. 82-83, 142-146.
(5) Bowers, Wendell. Modern Concepts of Farm Machinery Management. Cham-
paign, Illinois: Stipes Publishing Company, Rev. 1970.
(6) Coward, Norman. "Custom Hork and the Farmer's Machinery Investment
Decision." Illinois Agricultural Economics, Vol. 4, No. 1, Univ.
of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, January 1964, pp. 9-14.
(7) Heady, Earl 0. and Harald R. Jensen. Farm Management Economics. New
York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1954, Chap. 12.
(8) Hopkin, John A. "Leasing Versus Buying of Machinery." Journal of the
American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, Vol, 35,
No. 1, April 1970, pp. 17-23.
(9) Peter J. Barry and C. B. Baker. Financial Management
in Agriculture.Danville, Illinois: The Interstate Printers &
Publishers, Inc., 1973.
(10) Loftsgard, Laurel D., Dale 0. Anderson and Marvin T. Nordbo. "Owning
and Operating Costs for Farm Machinery." North Dakota Agr. Exp.
Sta. Bulletin 436, September 1961.
RICE PRODUCTION AND IMPROVEMENT IN CALIFORNIA
J. Neil Rutger
Rice is a major field crop in California, being grown on 550,000 acres
by some 3,000 farmers. Yields are high, averaging over 6,400 pounds per
acre in both 1979 and 1980. These yields, which are 50% higher than those
of the Arkansas-Louisiana-Mississippi-Texas region, are made possible by
extremely favorable growing conditions and improved varieties. Thus Califor-
nia has few disease and insect pests, and long hours of intense sunlight.
The improved varieties are short stature and early maturing.
Most of the California rice production is in the Sacramento Valley,
which is the major northern valley of the state. This is due to two factors:
Irrigation water is cheaper in the north part of the state, and Sacramento
Valley soils have a high clay content and thus hold water for the rice crop.
The growing season runs from mid-April through October. Production is highly
mechanized, involving not only the usual tractors and combines but also air-
planes for seeding and herbicide application. The rice crop is grown under
permanent flood (2 to 4 inches of water) from seeding until 2 to 3 weeks be-
fore harvest, at which time fields are drained so that they can be combined.
Some 5 to 7 acre-feet of water are applied per acre, although water consump-
tion by the crop is only 3.2 acre feet. The excess either percolates into
the subsoil or drains from the field and is re-used downstream.
Two market classes are currently produced--short grain and medium grain.
A long grain variety is available but is not widely grown because of lack of
markets. Most rice is milled and marketed through grower cooperatives.
About half of the crop is normally exported, largely to Asia. Domestically,
California rice is sold not only on the mainland but also in Hawaii and
Research Geneticist, USDA- SEA-AR, Davis, California 95616.
Puerto Rico, where special markets have developed.
Research on Ideal Plant Type
The most critical element of the ideal plant type for rice in California
is short stature. Our older varieties were tall (about 48 inches) and lodged
before harvest. Current varieties are short (about 36 inches), lodging-re-
sistant, responsive to nitrogen fertilizer, and average about 15% more grain
yield per acre than the tall varieties they replace. The first short stat-
ure variety in California, Calrose 76, was released in 1976, and was quickly
followed by nine more short stature varieties. Currently we have 11 public
rice varieties in the foundation seed program, 10 of which are short stat-
ure. Adoption of short stature varieties by growers has been rapid: 10% of
the acreage in 1978, 50% in 1979; over 70% in 1980, and 90% or more in 1981.
Typical nitrogen fertilizer responses of the short stature varieties are
shown in Figure 1.
Early maturity is also an important element of ideal plant type. Most
of the new varieties are 10-20 days earlier than the standard late variety
Calrose. Thus, while Calrose required about 155 days from planting to har-
vest, our newer varieties require only 135-145 days. Importantly, even the
very early varieties are high yielding.
With short stature and early maturity behind us we launched a program
to develop higher yielding models of the rice plant. The program encom-
passes both morphological and physiological characteristics that may affect
yield, and has three principal phases, which operate in a cyclical fashion
(Figure 2). Phase 1, involving genetics, is to develop near-isogenics
(plants which are identical except for a single gene, e.g., tall versus short
stature). Phase 2 is to use these near-isogenics in agronomic and physio-
logical tests to determine yield-limiting factors. Phase 3 is to apply
information developed in Phase 2 to design more productive genetic models of
the rice plant for the future, as well as providing germplasm to breeding
programs. Results to date indicate that the rice plant has excess photosyn-
thetic capacity (source, or leaves) to produce high grain yields (sink, or
panicle). Thus we are concentrating on ways to increase the sink size of
the rice plant, either through larger kernels or more kernels/panicle, or a
combination of these two yield components.
In summary, the ideal rice plant has short stature, lodging resistance,
reponsiveness to nitrogen, and early maturity. Further improvements are
expected to include larger and/or more seeds/panicle.
Reports that China is growing 12 million acres of F1 hybrid rice have
stimulated re-investigations of hybrid rice in California and elsewhere.
Basic research is being conducted on the feasibility of hybrid rice, focusing
first on sterility mechanisms and techniques for increasing hybrid seed pro-
duction. A major concern is whether it will be possible to produce enough
hybrid seed for the high planting rates needed in direct-seeded rice culture.
In the meantime much progress can still be achieved by conventional self-
pollinated breeding methods.
Rice Marketing Order Funds Accelerated Research
Funds for rice research are provided not only by the University and the
USDA but also by the California rice industry, through its Rice Research
Board. In 1969 the rice industry, by grower referendum, established a market-
ing order to collect funds for research. A small fee is collected for each
bag of rice sold by the grower. Through 1979, the maximum fee permitted was
2 1/2 cents per 100-pound bag of rice. This has generated some $600,000 each
year for research. In 1980 the industry doubled the maximum fee, in order
to raise additional funds for research, particularly on methods of disposal
of straw other than by burning. Funds thus collected are administered by a
Rice Research Board composed of elected grower members. The project organi-
zation of research supported by the Board is shownin 'Figure:.3. All three
rice research organizations in California- the University, the USDA, and the
industry-owned California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation-receive
funding from the Rice Research Board. The Rice Research Board funding has
greatly accelerated rice improvement in California in the last decade.
Grain yield, kg/ha
I 135 168
Figure l.--Response of the
and M7, and the
short stature varieties Calrose 76
tall variety CS-M3, to nitrogen
To convert kg/ha to Ib/acre, multiply
isogenics for testing agro-
c and physiologic hypotheses
to determine yield-
Figure 2.-- A three-phase program to develop higher-yielding models of the
Insect Drying Fitber
SBreeding Insect Drin I r
---------------- -------- ------ ----------- -- -- -.....................
Improved Rice Production Systems
Economic Studies -- Varietile
Soil, Water and Residue Management
Crop Protection Engineering
Figure 3.--Project organization of the California Rice Research Board. An unforeseen
bonus of this program is the scientific support and talent it has attracted
from California and federal agencies and private firms.
BENEFITS OF RICE FARMING ON A WILDLIFE REFUGE
Ervin W. McIntosh
Benefits of rice farming on a wildlife refuge are relative to the objec-
tives and goals established for the particular refuge. Rice farming is uti-
lized as a management tool at Loxahatchee to accomplish preset goals as re-
lated to wildlife attraction. There was much construction and other human
activity around the headquarters complex during the past two years as a result
of the BLHP construction program. Wildlife activity near the nature trails
was diminishing and complaints from the using public were increasing. The
attraction, through farming, of large numbers of waterfowl and other wildlife
is not always desirable. However, to improve waterfowl and other wildlife
populations to counteract disturbances, rice farming at Loxahatchee was ap-
proved in one 30 acre compartment.
By manipulating the various draining, disking and planting dates, we
were capable of attracting a wide variety of marsh and wading birds as well
as waterfowl. At the initial draining in the spring many herons, egrets and
other wading birds were attracted to concentrating minnows, fish and other
aquatic life. When the area became dry and the soil was disturbed by plowing
and disking, blackbirds, grackles, cattle egrets and a number of other spe-
cies of birds were attracted searching for insects and seed. Sandhill cranes
also used the fields while dry and were a major attraction to the visitors.
The planting of rice was in early August this last year since we learned
the hard way that earlier planting such as that of 1979 resulted in the milk
stage occurring in September which coincide with the bobolink migration. We
desired our rice maturity tocoincided more with major waterfowl migration.
Manager, Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, Loxahatchee, Fl.
In mid-September some 35 days after planting the field was allowed to flood.
By late September blue-winged teal and pied bill grebe and gallenules were
using the field. Early October brought small scattered flocks of blue-winged
teal, Florida ducks, fulvous whistling ducks and ringnecks. After two weeks
of draining in early November, small strips were mowed in the rice field to
provide open water areas. The field was then reflooded.
By early December the rice fields began to attract large numbers and a
variety of waterfowl as migratory flights increased. Peak waterfowl use oc-
curred in late January with over 1,000 birds using the area daily. Blue-
winged teal and fulvous whistling ducks were the most abundant.
Thousands of visitors enjoyed the waterfowl attraction and complaints
turned to praises even during increased construction activity. In addition
to waterfowl, wading birds including the less common glossy ibis frequented
the field. As wintering waterfowl began to depart in March, purple gallinule
use escalated, making them an abundant sight.
Rice farming is not a permanent program at Loxahatchee. Unfortunately
there are drawbacks to the program. Growing and manipulation of farm or grain
crops for the attraction of waterfowl results in birds becoming more dependent
upon man for their survival. Grain crops have a tendency to congregate large
numbers of birds into small areas where disease can spread more rapidly and
unscrupulous persons can cause an overkill of the population. In various
parts of the country, waterfowl often become short-stopped in their migration
as a result of farming practices that are attractive to waterfowl. The water-
fowl become conditioned and sometimes actually starve rather than fly further
south during heavy snow storms.
As for Loxahatchee NWR, we do not wish to create this dependency on farm
crops so moist soil managementencoura.;ing natural waterfowl food plants will
take priority over rice farming.
HOW DO YOU TELL CONSUMERS ABOUT RICE...
WHAT THE RICE COUNCIL IS DOING FOR YOU
Back in the 1950's, the U. S. rice industry produced about 50 million
hundred-weights of rice on about 1.6 million acres. Today, acreage has dou-
bled and production has almost tripled. With acreage and production increas-
ing as it is, the need for markets, both domestically and overseas, is in-
creasingly important. Rice farmers and millers are faced with a question...
how do you tell consumers throughout the world that you produce the highest
volume of the best quality rice in the world?
About thirty years ago, rice farmers and rice millers began to seriously
address that question. State rice promotion organizations were formed. By
the mid-fifties, these state leaders realized that by pooling their indi-
vidual state efforts, they could form a far more effective, national asso-
By 1957, the forerunner of today's Rice Council had been formed. With-
in two years, the Rice Council was beginning the task. Realizing the impor-
tance of exports, and the need for more commercial exports rather than being
so dependent on government-assisted export programs, an Export Market Devel-
opment Association was organized. In 1964, the Rice Council for Market De-
velopment was merged with this organization and assumed the dual role it has
today -- to increase the consumption of rice in the United States and develop
In the almost twenty years since the Rice Council was formed, total do-
mestic consumption of rice has increased over 80%. While still important,
only about 20% of today's exports are involved with government-assisted pro-
grams, instead of the over 60% in the late 50's,
The Rice Council is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization established
and totally supported by investments from all segments of the U. S. rice
industry in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas. Itspur-
pose is to "promote, by advertising, publicity, education and other legal
Arkansas Rice Council Field Representative, Stuttgart, AR 72160.
means the use of rice and rice products in the United States and the sale
of United States rice in the world market; to unite all segments of the rice
industry in one organization and one voice for the common good of the indus-
try." (From the Rice Council By-Laws)
Rice producers in each rice-growing state have a state organization.
They elect a board of Directors at an annual membership meeting each year.
The state directors, in turn, elect representatives to the Rice Council for
Market Development's Board of Directors.
There are five producer representatives from Arkansas, Louisiana and
Texas and three from Mississippi. Rice mill members in each state also elect
a total of six representatives to the Board. The Board itself names one di-
rector-at-large bringing the total number of Directors to twenty-five. Of-
ficers are elected annually at a Board meeting held in the early fall. They
comprise the Executive Committee.
The Rice Council has two other standing committees. One is an Adver-
tising and Public Relations Committee that works with the Council's staff
and advertising and public relations agencies. The committee reviews pro-
posals anf plans from the agencies and staff and recommends to the Board,
programs and budgets. The committee consists of rice-farmer members of the
Board and representatives of rice mills involved in the U. S. market,
The International Programs Committee also consists of farmer-members
of the Board and executives of rice mills involved in export activities.
The committee supervises and review all of the Council's programs through-
out the world and recommendsdirections and budget allocations'to the
numerous overseas'market development programs.
The Rice Council Board, then, determines the policies and direction of
all activities and approves all the budgets and expenditures. The Rice Coun-
cil staff carries out these programs, nationally and internationally, and is
relatively small in number, consisting of one field representative in each
rice-growing state or area; consumer communications and home economics spe-
cialists; recipe development and foodservice experts; personnel working in
the overseas market development programs-- out of the Houston office and in
the Council's European Program headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland; and, of
course, able administrative personnel.
When promoting a food, such as rice, new and different ways to use rice
are the base for many of the advertising and promotional programs, This
means recipes. Rice Council recipes--over 5,000 of them--have been carefully
developed through the years. Each must meet a rigorous testing procedure and
In the Council's test kitchens, each recipe is tested, often several
times, until it meets all of the organization's standards. Then, and only
then, is the recipe ready to be released in a booklet, offered to a magazine
or newspaper food editor or used in an ad,
The programs of the Rice Council can be divided into two basic areas:
United States Programs and Foreign Market Development programs. Both of
these can then be subdivided into advertising and promotion activities. The
Council's U. S. promotion programs have been expanded this year and will
continue to be exoanded even further.
Basic to the Council's U. S. publicity program is an activity called
a "press service" which is just that -- a service of providing information
and material to the nation's newspapers. The Council develops and dis-
tributes rice recipes, photographs and story material to major daily metro-
politan newspapers and weekly newspapers throughout the entire United States.
Five times each year, the Rice Council also distributes special releases to
color-using newspapers so their food editors can use them as a central fea-
ture in their papers' food section.
Periodically, the Rice Council conducts programs for magazine food edi-
tors in New York City in the form of seminars, films or speakers. In ad-
dition to the mailings and meetings, personal contacts are made with most of
the major magazine and newspaper food editors throughout the country. The
Rice Council's home economists travel throughout the United States providing
these editors with exclusive photographs, recipes and general rice informa-
tion. They also are guests on many radio and television programs throughout
the United States educating people about rice.
In a years' time, they will cover an average of fifty or more major
metropolitan areas in twenty or more states. Many hours of airtime on mor-
ning shows, talk-shows, noontime shows for housewives and even news programs
are obtained. The cost of buying space on this many stations across the
country would be prohibitive. However, since the Council is the voice of
the U. S. rice industry and is not promoting a particular brand, the broad-
cast industry is very receptive to having consumer information for their
Because of their confidence in the Rice Council, many editors or re-
porters from magazine, cookbooks, textbooks or other types of publications
often request recipes, pictures or story material. The Council provides
what the editor desires-- either from existing recipes and photographs or new
ones developed just for the occasion.
The Rice Council uses many other types of educational and promotional
programs. They include such items as television public service announce-
ments; radio public service announcements; a 16mm movie in national distri-
bution which describes the U. S, rice industry and how rice is grown and
processed; a 16mm film in national distribution designed for use in the home
economics classrooms of the country which tells how to cook rice and use it
to its many advantages; 35mm filmstrips which show how to cook rice for use
in classroom in either home economics or institutional training; newsletters
to key professionals in education foodservice, travel industry, cooking
schools and many more who have influence on consumer buying habits; menus,
recipes and cooking information are distributed to over 13,000 nursing homes
throughout the country; information, recipes and lesson guides for daycare
center operators; and the 1 1/2 million publications the Council distributes
each year which includes general recipe leaflets, special diet leaflets, ed-
ucational material, institutional foodservice publications, and many more.
The Council's U. S. advertising program can be divided into two cam-
paigns: One is a consumer-oriented campaign designed to reach the young home-
maker who is a light to medium rice consumer and change her and her family
into heavier users. It describes rice as the ideal food to stretch the
family food budget while adding some excitement to mealtime. These ads are
placed in national magazines to reach these young decision-makers with this
message and recipes. Research has shown that this is the most effective
method of reaching this prime audience with the dollars available.
The other campaign is directed toward the foodservice industry. It
reaches managers and buyers in the nations' restaurants and institutional
foodservice operations with the message that rice is economical and versatile
and will please their customers while aiding in the profit-making as well.
These ads appear in trade magazines which reach the key decision makers in
the foodservice industry.
Because rice exports are so vital to the industry, the Rice Council's
forerunner made an agreement with the Foreign Agricultural Service of the
United States Department of Agriculture in the late 1950's. This agreement
provided for government funding of the Foreign Market Development Programs
the Council conducts on behalf of the U. S. rice industry. As the associa-
tion of the U. S. rice industry, the Rice Council uses these funds along with
Rice Council money and personnel to develop export markets for U. S, grown
The programs vary from country to country-- depending on many factors
such as the size of the potential market; the structure of the rice trade
within that country; the sophistication and type of media that are available;
or, the share of the market currently held by the U. S. rice industry, Be-
cause of their ability to purchase for cash and the need for rice imports,
Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been major target areas for the
Council's market development programs.
When needed, public relations and advertising agencies may be hired in
a country or region because they know the languages and customs as well as
the media in their respective areas. In Europe, the Middle East and South
Africa, the print media are sophisticated enough to need and properly use
a press service -- a similar, basic information service to the one conducted
in the United States. Each public relations agency provides the newspapers
and magazines in their area with photographs, recipes and general information
The details of the public relations programs vary because of the dif-
ferent market situations and the languages and customs in that country.
While differing in substance, the basic methods of promotion are similar
which includes educational programs such as teachers' kits or classroom maps;
national distribution of the Rice Council's overseas version of "American
Rice -- Food for the World" in 9 different languages; the printing and dis-
tribution of recipe leaflets in the local languages; and in some areas, ad-
vertising --in magazines, outdoor and on radio.
Many countries have great potential for importing U. S. -grown rice but
either do not have sophisticated media where promotion or advertising pro-
grams could be successfully conducted, as is the case in numerous African
countries, or, the country's imports and consumer goods are controlled by
the government such as the Eastern Bloc countries.
Members of the Rice Council staff travel to these countries contacting
local importers or local government agencies. This is called "trade
servicing." The Rice Council also travels to all the countries where programs
are conducted and contacts the local rice trade. The Rice Council is also
involved in helping the U. S. government and other segments of the U. S. rice
industry in reducing trade barriers -- such as helping to stop Japan's highly
subsidized exports in violation of international trade agreements.
The Rice Council is active in hosting trade delegations from various
countries which import rice or may want to import rice. The Council often
plans a tour of the rice-growing states -- visiting farms, driers, mills and
the entire industry in order to give the potential buyers a broad knowledge
of the industry and a favorable impression of the high quality rice as well
as the dependability of the industry.
Rice consumption has risen in virtually every country where the Council
has had programs. The U. S. share of the marketplace in those countries has
also risen... and the Council is continuously looking to new market areas to
develop throughout the world while working hard to continue growth patterns
in other markets. Times have certainly changed over the years, but the U. S.
rice industry can be proud in knowing it has helped itself to meet the chal-
lenges of these changes... With a concerted effort, the industry has made
giant strides in answering the question of how to reach consumers throughout
the world with the message that the U. S. rice industry produces a product
in demand throughout the world.