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Research and education program keeps the California rice industry competitive

The Issue

California enjoys a reputation of producing high quality rice. Rice, unlike most other cereals, is consumed as a whole grain. Therefore physical properties such as size, shape, uniformity and general appearance are of utmost importance. Efforts to improve quality in other regions and countries challenge California growers to seek improved production and postharvest strategies to maintain the state's competitive edge in the global marketplace. To capitalize on new markets, retain market share, and remain competitive, it is essential to understand the production factors under the control of the grower that ultimately influence grain quality.

What Has ANR Done?

For over 10 years UCCE conducted a series of experiments to develop the best management practices to ensure high quality rice. A comprehensive approach to identify key points in the production and postharvest management continuum was developed as a result of several years of on-farm and laboratory research specifically applicable to the unique California rice production system.

The Payoff

UC’s research contributes to rice harvest and storage practices

UC Cooperative published the Rice Quality Handbook as a standard reference for growers and dryer operators. The companion Rice Quality Workshop, attended by hundreds since its inception, is required training for employees of rice dryers throughout the Sacramento Valley. Understanding the production and processing variables affecting rice quality enables growers to harvest rice at lower moisture content, reduce drying costs, better preserve rice in storage and increase profitability. Commercial dryers reported reducing energy use by as much as 20 percent.

Clientele Testimonial

The Rice Quality Handbook and companion educational program are excellent examples of UC Cooperative Extension's ability to meet the evolving needs of the California rice industry. The information presented is timely and relevant to those needs. - Tim Johnson, CEO, California Rice Commission


Randall Mutters, (530) 538-7201, rgmutters@ucdavis.edu

Jim Thompson, (530) 752-6167, jfthompson@ucdavis.edu