WHEATLAND, CA -- Like many rice growers in northern California and across the mid-South, Michael Bosworth has spent the last couple weeks flooding his rice fields and finishing up planting. And like fellow rice growers, Bosworth employs strategic conservation practices during this crucial stage of rice production in an effort to use resources responsibly and deliver the strongest crop for consumers.
"We use precision technology to help us grow quality crops while using minimal resources," said Bosworth. "We utilize yield mapping and fertilizer prescriptions in order to put just the right amount of fertilizer on every acre, which protects against over-fertilizing and ensures we have a more even crop. We also utilize GPS drag scrapers on all of our farm acres to use less water and also have a more uniform water depth across the field."
So far, these practices are paying off and things are looking good on Bosworth's farm. He finished planting the last of his rice earlier this week and will start ground spraying herbicide application next week to help the rice crop outcompete the surrounding weeds. After that he will begin preparing his farm equipment for harvest the first week of September.
Bosworth shares the stages of rice production on his social media channels with explanations of his sustainability practices to help consumers visualize and understand the process their rice goes through before ending up on their dinner tables. “We have to be mindful of the public. There are other people you talk to that aren’t farmers and don’t know the steps we take to engage in sustainable practices while still delivering a quality crop. I think it can be a very impactful message.”
Bosworth raises organic and traditional rice, walnuts, and cattle. He also serves as USA Rice’s California social media ambassador, helping to tell the story of rice to using the hashtag #thinkrice.
Loading crop duster with Calrose rice seed