Computerized Rice



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Project Leader and Principal UC Investigators

Richard E. Plant, Dept. of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis

James E. Hill, Dept. of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis

Joyce F. Strand, IPM Implementation Group, UCD

Julie Young, Staff Research Associate, UC Davis

J.G. Real, Research Assistant, UC Davis

S.C. Scardaci, farm advisor, Colusa, Glenn & Yolo counties

B.L. Weir, farm advisor, Merced & Fresno counties

C.M. Wick, farm advisor, Butte county

J.F. Williams, farm advisor, Sutter/Yuba, Sacramento & Placer counties 

There will probably never be a substitute for the wisdom gained through field experience. But the art of cultivating an increasingly complex science, and computers are rapidly becoming a tool to help growers sift through myriad factors leading to better management.

For the past two years, a team of scientists and advisors has been working to create an "expert" computer program patterned after a highly successful program developed for cotton. The basic integrated crop management "shell" for this program has been completed.

Preliminary versions of the variety selection, fertility management, and harvesting and drying modules were completed during 1991. These were added to the already completed modules for herbicide selection and invertebrate pest management.

The fertility module includes projected crop demand for N, P, K and Zn based on estimated soil nutrient status. The harvesting module estimates the proper harvest date based on crop moisture by correlating it with reference evapotranspiration and projecting evapotranspiration into the future.

The rice variety section displays the characteristics of California rice, including grain type, seedling vigor, cold tolerance, heading dates and other characteristics important to specific varieties. Grower location and desired rice type (short, medium, long, specialty) are also taken into account.

A prototype expert system will be used during the 1992 season by cooperating farmers for their preliminary evaluation of the modules. The information gained from growers' experiences with the program will be used to make adjustments and improvements.


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