The 1st Northeast USA Rice Conference - 2009
Occurring July 25, 2009, 8:00 AM to 5:00PM, at the Akaogi Farm in Westminster West, Vermont. This workshop was sponsored by a Northeast SARE Farmer Grant to: start a satellite rice growing experiment throughout the Northeast USA and establish a network of experts in all the three aspects (agronomic, wetland wildlife, and watershed management) of a sustainable rice production system. The workshop was a daylong event with speakers focusing on all three aspects of rice production. Below you will find short summaries of each speaker's presentation.
Growing Rice at the Akaogi Farm: Takeshi Akaogi
In this section, Takeshi Akaogi talks about his experiences growing rice at Akaogi Farm and the major issues and challenges of growing rice in this northern climate. Topics included are: paddy construction, seed varieties, seed saving and seed sources, planting schedule, harvesting and grain processing, and wetland concerns.
Rice Paddies in the Watershed Context: Marie Caduto
This section discusses potential water quality and watershed benefits of rice paddy systems including the restoration of prior converted wetlands that are currently used as agricultural land and the treatment of farm runoff through rice paddies. There is also a short discussion about managing soil fertility and water in the rice paddy.
Nutrient Management in Rice Paddies: Peter Hobbs
In this section, Peter Hobbs discusses the importance of nitrogen as a nutrient for rice production, the nitrogen cycle, and forms of nitrogen in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. In addition, this section compares the wetting and drying management strategy with flooded, paddy rice and compares upland rice with paddy rice. Also included in this section is a short discussion about seed germination issues and weed management.
Pest Management in Irrigated Rice: Yolanda Chen
This section discusses rice paddies as complex food webs and the inherent natural system of biological control that exists within the insect community. In addition, Yolanda Chen discusses potential pests that might become an issue here in the Northeast over time and as more rice is grown in this area.
The Integration of Conservation and Agriculture: Ecological Health and Human Values: Tatiana Schreiber
This section talks about using other examples of agricultural systems that took into consideration environmental issues, such as the shade-grown coffee agro-ecosystems in Central America, to develop a sustainable system of rice cultivation in the Northeast USA.
Smaller Scale Equipment for Rice Production in Japan: Gen Onishi
In this section, Gen Onishi discusses types of machinery that are available for small-scale rice farming operations from his own personal experiences.
Rice Breeding and Genetics: Susan McCouch
This section gives an introduction to rice breeding and genetics with a focus on what the McCouch Rice Lab is researching at Cornell University. This section also discusses seed importation and issues related to seed distribution.
Finding our Relationship with Rice: Economic Factors, Spiritual Perspectives. Rice as Teacher, Rice as Friend: Christian Elwell
In this section, Christian Elwell talks about his experiences growing rice and discusses the local rice market, existing rice demand, and the rice acreage needed to supply this demand. This section also discusses rice culture and how the construction of a rice paddy changes the way we think about our relationship with the natural world.