Water temps play vital role in rice harvest

Full story: Chico Enterprise-Record

Rice farmers near the Thermalito Afterbay have begun the process of verifying how much yield is lost in rice fields due to colder water.
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1 - 20 of 32 Comments Last updated Sep 29, 2009
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Sigh

Chico, CA

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#1
Sep 25, 2009
 
Compensate? Millions? Guess what? The state is broke. Our schools are failing. Maybe it's time to take a look at another crop?
Agreed

United States

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#2
Sep 25, 2009
 
Sigh wrote:
Compensate? Millions? Guess what? The state is broke. Our schools are failing. Maybe it's time to take a look at another crop?
I agree, grow less rice or some other crop and quit gouging the taxpayer!

You got to hand it to the rice farmers, they really know how to work the system to maximize their income at the expense of everyone else. These ball crunchers have the state by the balls. What a bunch of greedy jerks.
stephens1949

Chico, CA

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#3
Sep 25, 2009
 
I will be looking for the study to give some respect to the idea that the closer rise is grown to the source of water coming out of the after bay the less conducive the soil is for rice production. The heavier darker clays are mostly further out in the valley. If these rice growers want to continue and expand their milking the subsidy system they need to switch to dairy cows. Their union is much larger and expands clear across the continent. It is my opinion the contribution made by rice growers to political campaign needs to be scrutinized, with regards to the governments decision on this one.
SJG

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#5
Sep 25, 2009
 
stephens1949 wrote:
I will be looking for the study to give some respect to the idea that the closer rise is grown to the source of water coming out of the after bay the less conducive the soil is for rice production. The heavier darker clays are mostly further out in the valley.
Why would the soil type in the proximity of the afterbay have to do with it?
Uhhh

Chico, CA

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#6
Sep 25, 2009
 
I don't know what he is referring to, but maybe better soil next to historically consistent floods on the Sacramento - from eras before white man.??:0)
Marie

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#8
Sep 25, 2009
 
Taxed to Death wrote:
Why now all of a sudden is it a problem?
What part of the article did you miss that said it had been going on for years and now the research is being conducted. Maybe it is that the media felt it was important to tell you now rather than when they probably first learned about it. And for those of you who think they should pick another crop, maybe you should pick somehwere else to live because the rice has been here longer than you.

“Politically Incorrect”

Since: Jul 09

Chico

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#9
Sep 25, 2009
 
This is a sticky problem for me to comment on, because, on one hand, I grew up in a farming family in this area on our family farm that has productive for 100 years now. We were taught by grandpa & dad to NEVER take any money from the government because it's akin to welfare & then the government can tell you what you can & can't do on your land, which is not living freely. On the other hand, if these farmers' families have been farming on the same land since before the state built Oroville Dam, then, maybe they do in fact deserve some compensation. That is a hard one for me to fathom though, as I look upon agri-business "welfare" with just as much contempt as any other person or corporate entity receiving other types of government handouts.

“Politically Incorrect”

Since: Jul 09

Chico

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#10
Sep 25, 2009
 
Marie wrote:
<quoted text>
And for those of you who think they should pick another crop, maybe you should pick somehwere else to live because the rice has been here longer than you.
I have to agree with you on that one Marie.
Would Rather Eat Salmon

Chico, CA

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#11
Sep 25, 2009
 
Uhhh wrote:
I don't know what he is referring to, but maybe better soil next to historically consistent floods on the Sacramento - from eras before white man.??:0)
How long you been growing rice?? You already get the cheapest water on Earth.
Would Rather Eat Salmon

Chico, CA

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#12
Sep 25, 2009
 
I'm boycotting rice!
Chumpo

Campbell, CA

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#13
Sep 25, 2009
 
Have the farmers buy water heating systems; maybe a sort of tanks or solar heating elements.
Have the FARMERS pay for what THEY need in order to get "proper" crop yield.
They milk enough money from the Feds and public each year, they can pay for some sort of solution.
SJG

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#14
Sep 26, 2009
 
Would Rather Eat Salmon wrote:
<quoted text>
You already get the cheapest water on Earth.
You make it sound like it is some sort of crime. BTW your food is also the cheapest. There just might be a corrolation.
Who

Redding, CA

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#15
Sep 26, 2009
 
Marie wrote:
<quoted text>
And for those of you who think they should pick another crop, maybe you should pick somehwere else to live because the rice has been here longer than you.
Uh, excuse me. These are OUR tax dollars we pay as RESIDENTS of California. We should have a say as to where they go. It's not like they are taking their land, or their water.

It's too cold? Doubtful that it's any colder than snow runoff that used to come down the Feather River.
stephens1949

Paradise, CA

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#16
Sep 26, 2009
 
SJG wrote:
<quoted text>
Why would the soil type in the proximity of the afterbay have to do with it?
Well now honestly I do not know a whole hell of a lot about that, but here is a little of what I think, black or some say blue clay has a lower "perculation" rate than the lighter sandier or even rockier lomier soils found in and around the after bay, maybe the rice farmers need to continually add more cold water than a blue clay farmer needs to add and that would be a cooling issue, Although there is some Red clay in that area that can and does hold water like an indian pot but not a lot of it. And even there red clay farther out in the valley, say like closer to Butte Creek, the red clay there has less sand and it can be like an Indian pot with a double lining. Another rambling thought is that there are more subturainian gravel beds laying closer to the surface in the area closer to the after bay, part of the reason there are pumps all around it pumping and recirculating colder water back into the reserviour. Well you know space is limitted, but I have one more thought and that is about the cooling effect of the wind which blows first one way in the morning and then the other in the evening, it is typical of the Feather River Canyon area and that effects the rice around Lamalfas, and his neighbors who are wanting the subsidies. The wind like the soil has its effects. That alone is like asking the tax payer to subsidise mother nature...the more I think about it the less respect I have for everyone involved, so it seems best I "GIVE IT A REST".
stephens1949

Paradise, CA

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#17
Sep 26, 2009
 
OK, I will bite a little more, my will is not strong enouph to let it go.
The nutritional consistanciy in the soils is much much different and the excesive amount of petrochemical firtilizers needed to subsidise the weaker soils around the after bay could possibly actualy be having an advirse effect on the rice kernal, "Pinching" it. For example you know a lot of home owners poision there own hose plants with firtilizers. It is the equivilantcy or a desperate soildier shooting himself in the foot. I mean these rice farmers are so desperate to make more money they cultivate every inch of land they own. They are masicistic to the land in a way. And the natural habitat of all the Ducks, Cyoates, Hawks you name it.
It all comes from their unrealistic concepts learned through even the Univirsity System who in itself gets political grants and "contibutions" from a whole lot of petro and petro chemical industries. Well it is of course a deep subjict, all I can say now is s#%t.
stephens1949

Paradise, CA

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#18
Sep 26, 2009
 
I think "they" are driving me mad. My spell check was right in front of me and I could not see it.
SJG

Chandler, AZ

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#19
Sep 26, 2009
 
Well now honestly I do not know a whole hell of a lot
Nonsense my friend; you know your limitations and yet you know you'll marshal on in spite of them.

- Percolation (perc) can be different between the two soils (as you pointed out) but that is a function of soil structure, not color.

- "Blue" clay is blue because of a lack of oxygen in the soil.

- While there is a degree of difference between the soils along the 99 corridor and the more traditional "Stockton Clays" found further out in the valley, both are suitable for rice because both soils have a relatively slow perc.

- Gravel strata can be found in many areas of the valley. Sometimes under perennial cropping systems and even out in the heavy clays. Remember, Mother Nature did a lot of "leveling" in this valley, long before a Fresno scraper and a mule showed up.

- Your idea about the wind has a much greater effect on rice production around Sacramento. However, it is not a function of the wind as it is the cooler moist air that gets moved into the Natomas area from the delta.

- You are right about the nutrient consistency of the soil. Then you have to go all "petro-chemical" blah blah blah and ruin any decent argument you might have made. There are indeed weaker areas of soil in the area of the afterbay. However, with a little investigation, you'll find that soils further out in the basin have there own unique fertility problems.

I hesitate to delve too deeply in to soil structure, exchange capacity and 2:1 v. 1:1 clays, as most people would sooner poke their eyes out than bore themselves with science. Suffice it to say, if it were a fertility problem, the DWR and the District growers wouldn't put themselves on the hook for the jack to fund this program.

The crux of the problem, is over the last dozen or so years, the use of the afterbay has changed. Intakes in all fields (pumps or ditch water) show signs of yield reduction. No argument there, but the degree to which that damage has increased from colder water deliveries is what is at issue. It's not a "LaMalfa" issue, some damage occurs 10 miles down stream. It's a function of the water being cold.

While you are at it, look into the power generation policies of DWR and how much "pump back" they do during off peak hours. Don't forget stream flow requirements with regard to cfs and temperature, as these have changed over the years as well.

Let me try to equate this situation to something everyone might do; growing a garden.

You have a garden where you get your veggies how you want them, when you want them. Then by a vote of the people of our great state, it is decided that a "structure" will be put in place that will impede your gardening as you have always done it. No the "state" says, "Not to worry, we'll keep a study supply of fresh veggies coming your way". You agree and for years everything is peachy. Then you start to realize that you veggies are quite as fresh as the used to be, in fact some aren't even ripe. By the time they are ripe; you are already on to the next variety and have no use for the now ripe ones. Into the compost pile they go.

Then you are berated and called greedy on forums and in letters to the editor because you have the gall to ask the "state" to honor its word.
Great

Redding, CA

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#20
Sep 26, 2009
 
The same conservative folks who vote for republicans & against any social programs for families in need. This is welfare, same as food stamps. Yet it's welfare for the rich. Have you seen a "poor" rice farmer in the North State? Nope. Have you seen their huge houses? Their oodles of cars, so many that they can't keep track (yes, that was one rice farmers excuse when his wife hit my car in a parking lot - he didn't know he owned a Buick SUV).

No thank you. If you can't make a go of it, sell your land to someone who can.
SJG

Chandler, AZ

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#21
Sep 26, 2009
 
Great wrote:
The same conservative folks who vote for republicans & against any social programs for families in need. This is welfare, same as food stamps. Yet it's welfare for the rich. Have you seen a "poor" rice farmer in the North State? Nope. Have you seen their huge houses? Their oodles of cars, so many that they can't keep track (yes, that was one rice farmers excuse when his wife hit my car in a parking lot - he didn't know he owned a Buick SUV).
No thank you. If you can't make a go of it, sell your land to someone who can.
I have another ax in the wood shed if you'd like to grind a little more. How exactly is water welfare with regard to the subject?
stephens1949

Chico, CA

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#22
Sep 27, 2009
 
So we can agree the soil, the weather and a prior production record are all questionable to say the least. How can they be granted subsidies for an "eternity" with these few points having been established?

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