Rice Research Board Chairman
Lance D. Tennis
Fellow Rice Growers:
Your Rice Research Board appreciated the enthusiastic support you gave to the research program this past year. The research program funded by you through the State of California, Department of Food and Agriculture, began 13 years ago. Since that time, rice yields have risen more rapidly than any time since rice production began in California about 75 years ago. State average yields in 1981 are estimated at 72 cwt per acre. These yield increases have returned our investment many times over. They have enabled the industry to remain profitable, even with sharply increasing production costs.
The Rice Research Board funds many individual projects after thorough screening by liaison committees of rice Board members, by a special committee of the Board on research, and, finally, by the entire Board. The projects are conducted by the of California, the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation at Biggs, the USDA Western Regional Research Center at Albany, and the Nowcasting Weather Service at Chico State University.
The variety breeding program has provided growers with short-stature varieties for all three grain types and maturity classes. At the request of the Board, increased effort will be directed toward improved grain quality in future variety releases.
The Board is funding projects conducted by the University of California in all aspects of crop protection, including control of weeds, diseases, and invertebrate pests. We also support projects important to the protection of the environment from the use of various pesticides and from burning of rice straw.
The straw disposal problem continues to be of great concern to the industry and certain segments of government. We are supporting research programs to identify more and better burn days as well as the utilization of rice straw as a raw material for power generation, making pulp for paper products, and feed for livestock. The problems are complex, and although solutions are technically feasible, most are not yet economically feasible. However, we continue to try to find uses for rice straw that could reduce the amount burned each year.
The Rice Research Board funds and coordinates other programs on the economic analyses of alternatives to rice straw burning, on rice drying, and on finding new and expanded uses for rice.
This report is provided so you may know how your contributions are being used. Your Board spends many hours monitoring and guiding the program. However, your suggestions are always welcome. Our goal is to have the finest program possible that will keep the California rice industry competitive and profitable. Please contact any of the Board members or the Board manager, Mel Androus, if we can be of any assistance,