Upland Rice Growing

Paddy Rice (flooded) can be grown using upland rice methods. The following upland methods are how I grow all rice varieties on my farm.

Rice seeds should be soaked in water 24 hours before planting. I start my plants indoors in April in plug flats, 50’s and transplant into beds after the last frost date. I recommend not leaving plants in flats for more than three weeks as the starts will yellow easily and weaken when root-bound. Here in Northern Indiana, I plant my rice plugs the last week of May. I plant into 4′ wide beds. This makes adding bird netting over the tops of the plants an easy chore using 5′ t-posts and twine. The plants are spaced 9″-12″ apart in the beds. Upland rice requires about the same amount of water as corn, around 1″ per week during the growing season. The plants will begin to form seed heads in July/August. At maturity the rice husks will turn to a golden brown and the rice seed inside will be hard.  I harvest in late September, cutting the whole plant and bundling into groups of 4. These bundles are then hung in my drying shed for a few weeks until the plant is fully dry. At this point threshing is easy by hand (pulling the grains off) or using a threshing machine. I use a treadle (foot) powered thresher. Rice has an inedible husk that needs to be removed before eating.   The most primitive way to accomplish this is by pounding the grains with a stick or mallet on a wood surface (tree stump) in order to loosen the husks. There are small rice dehullers available but very difficult to locate. Brill Engineering offers online tutorials on how to build a small dehuller using easy to locate “off the shelf” parts.   http://www.brillengineering.com/

Alternative planting method. In the spring of 2017 I experimented with direct seeding rice into beds in late May. I had success with early maturing varieties. I recently learned that rice can be direct seeded even earlier; possibly at the beginning of May or late April. I would suggest you conduct some small trials if you are interested in this method. Transplanting has proven to be very reliable for 5 years in a row. Direct seeding is a new concept for me and I can not guarantee the results for any given variety. I am growing in a zone 5b (moving towards a 6).




My e-mail is john@sherckseeds.com    

27 Responses to Upland Rice Growing

  1. Pingback: Pro Tips: Starting your garden this spring | AiDaIa - Gardening

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  3. John jaya says:

    Will your upland rice grow in north florida. I would like to grow about a half acre how much seed would i need?

    • John Sherck says:

      Where you live you could probably grow just about any variety of rice, including all the varieties I offer! Seeding rates for large areas depends on the method you
      plan to use for growing the crop. Direct seeding will require much more seed than transplanting. How are you intending to plant?

  4. Charles Knatcal says:

    Hello I was wondering if you had any perennial leeks this year? I’m just looking threw what you have for this year. Charles Knatcal

  5. Rebecca Touboel says:

    When will Black Jet soy beans be for sale in 2017? I so need to grow them and I absolutely love this site!!!

  6. tim says:

    john do you have puhwem corn seeds delaware corn thanks

  7. Cindy Dutcher says:

    Hi Tim, love your work! What is the most north hardy rice you carry? We are in Michigan’s eastern UP. Cindy D.

    • John Sherck says:

      Hello Cindy. The earliest maturing variety I have is Hayayuki at about 90-95 days from transplant. It is a paddy rice but
      can be grown like an upland variety. Make sure the bed does not dry out until after flowering and the beginning of grain
      fill. Duborskian, Amaura and Zerwachanica are also fairly early at 100-110 days. (Duborskian might need 115 days if the
      summer is cool. Out of the 4 I would probably suggest the Amaura or Hayayuki.

  8. Daniel Hale says:

    I’m interested in growing a variety of grains as a winter food source for my free-range chickens. You have so many varieties available, are there any particular types that will do well in zone 7b (northwest Arkansas)

    • John Sherck says:

      Millet and sorghum are 2 easy to grow summer grains suitable for chickens. You do not have to thresh the grains. You can just give them the whole grain heads. Ba-Yi-Qi and Dale Sorghum are productive. Japanese Barnyard Millet is also very productive.

  9. Ron Bequeath says:

    John, are your 2020 seeds out on your website yet.

    • John Sherck says:

      Not yet. I am still conducting germination tests and creating new web content. I should be ready to go near the end of the month. Thanksgiving has always been my goal for wrapping up the preliminary work before selling for the new season.

  10. Ronald E Bequeath says:

    John, did my order go through? Ron Bequeath, I don’t know why but i can never tell with paypal. Thanks.

  11. Owen Davies says:

    Are squash seeds for sale this year? Also, miami ohio pole beans did very well for me this year and I would like to leave a good review if you are still selling them. Flavor is very nice and a lot like fava beans.

  12. Pam Pixley says:

    Hi John.
    Several years ago my husband and I purchased a packet of Cosmonaut Volkov tomato seeds from you. We live in Elkhart The tomatoes grew beautifully! And they tasted great. I have been using the seeds every year since then.
    We are looking forward to purchasing a variety of pepper seeds this year.
    It’s so nice to plant seeds with confidence knowing they will grow well here. We just have a small garden that we enjoy every year.
    Thanks for providing this service and all the info you shared with us that day we visited.

  13. Peter says:

    Hi Jon, I was wondering how far apart you recommend planting rice, wheat and other grain seeds to prevent cross pollination? Thanks.

    • John Sherck says:

      Hello Brian
      I read about a peanut farm in Canada. Supposedly the only commercial one. I can’t remember the location. I would be very interested to hear about any info you come across. I will check the USDA as well.


    • John Sherck says:

      Hello Peter,

      As I understand, crossing for small grains is minimal with the exception of Rye which is wind pollinated. All the other are self pollinating. I do try to give some space between plantings of the same species, usually around 5 foot when possible. If I know the days to flowering, I can then stagger plant beds side by side. Most crossing of wheat and rice is done by hand under controlled conditions. While crossing is fairly limited I do enjoy seeing the occasional cross. I keep the seed from those plants separate. It opens the possibility for a new variety.

  14. ceenght fang says:

    I interesting all your rice seed, can i able to buy some.

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