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Ryan Hobbs
Posts: 57
Location: Ohio
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I'm sorry if I missed a thread on growing rice in zone 6b in the mountains, but I didn't see it so I'm starting a thread on it.

I have read everything I can get my hands on on this and I'm thinking now of articulated plans.

I plan to grow Akamuro Red Rice from Hokkaido (where it is grown in zones 4 and 5 mostly), and Black Hull-less Barley on the lower portions of my terraces, below the tea plantation so I can flood the paddies from the pond on the ridge. I don't have long enough season to grow green manure as well, but can lay compost and nitrogen sources like manure after harvest and let it overwinter. Growing 2 crops a year with paddy rice and barley seeded over the growing rice after draining the paddy like Fukuoka. I know machines are poo-pooed, but I'm considering getting a 450~ lb walk behind small grains combine. I don't imagine it would compact the soil what with the weight on each of the wheels being less than the weight on an average human foot. I do have a rice sickle, but should I fall ill (as I tend to periodically due to chronic illness), my family needs to be able to harvest it themselves.

Combine
http://www.harvestermachine.com/product/Rice_Wheat_Harvester/Walking-Type-Small-Rice/Wheat-Combine-Ha.html
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Sounds like a good plan and there is nothing wrong with using that type harvester.
The best stage to harvest with any harvester is late dough to full dryout (plant is totally brown and crispy)
The normal time to dry out the paddy is just as the wheat in in late milky state, that gives you full weight kernels.

The only timing issue you might have is if you try to plant the barley prior to harvesting the rice. Since the soil will need to be quite dry for the rice to dry out as it will need to.
Most of the time it is best to harvest then plant the next rotation when you are doing grains.

Redhawk
 
Ryan Hobbs
Posts: 57
Location: Ohio
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Sounds like a good plan and there is nothing wrong with using that type harvester.
The best stage to harvest with any harvester is late dough to full dryout (plant is totally brown and crispy)
The normal time to dry out the paddy is just as the wheat in in late milky state, that gives you full weight kernels.

The only timing issue you might have is if you try to plant the barley prior to harvesting the rice. Since the soil will need to be quite dry for the rice to dry out as it will need to.
Most of the time it is best to harvest then plant the next rotation when you are doing grains.

Redhawk


In that case, should I till in the paddies before planting the barley crop? That would dry the soil faster, and make it easy to plant the barley with my mid-1800s era corn seeder machine... The rice grass roots and hardened clay would be difficult to direct seed.  And unlike a field, paddies don't have much runoff. so I'd assume erosion would be negligible. You don't need to plough at all for rice if you're transplanting from greenhouse starts. so it'd only be done once a year for the barley. I've also considered winter wheat or rye, but we don't eat enough of it to really justify growing it. I'd grow my corn up on the ridge where I wouldn't dig at all, so I think that ploughing is worse in some areas than in others. Am I wrong here?
 
Bryant RedHawk
garden master
Posts: 2749
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
225
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
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Instead of tilling try cutting the rice straw short and letting it become a mulch layer and just seed right through that with the barley. This way you can harvest while the rice is at the late dough stage so the soil moisture is still fairly good. You also could lay some water into the paddy to moisten the soil some if needed.
The beauty of this method is that rice straw will slowly deteriorate into the soil and the barley crop will benefit from the retained moisture, it will sprout up through the rice straw easily.
It the rice roots show to be a problem for your seeder, then a harrow run might break up those root mats enough for the seeder, you just need to do some test patches to determine that bare minimum needed point.
Here a lot of rice farms burn off the straw instead of bailing that straw for sale, to me that is a waste of profits but at the same time it does contribute ash. The problem is they then come in and do a four stage disturbance in the name of weed control, killing any soil biota they had from the rice crop.

I love the fact that you are using antique implements, in my experience they work better and are more durable than most of the newer implements.

Plowing is best for incorporation of "green manures" otherwise it shouldn't really be necessary unless you have extreme rocky soil.

Any time we disturb the soil, there should be enough reasons to justify the disturbance as in getting living amendments into place and bringing minerals (rocks) to the surface and breaking these into smaller rocks.
The ideal is to leave the microorganisms that are the soil intact as much and as long as possible. The modern farm method is more about convenience to the farmer than about building great soil, they are the true "dirt farmers" since all their soil disturbance kills or puts dormant their microorganisms.
In my garden spaces the soil might get disturbed once every three or four years after the initial tilling when I incorporate the needed additions per my soil testing and biological assessment (I have my own research laboratory so I use it for the farm too).

Redhawk

PS if you haven't already, you might want to read my soil threads.  and if you desire, you can always send me a PM with your questions.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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