NEW for 2020
“Extreme Dwarf and Early Maturing”
Hunan Early Dwarf is a cultivar developed in Hunan Sheng China. It is an extremely dwarf variety with medium grain, brown rice. I obtained my initial seed from the USDA. This variety was part of my 2019 rice trials wherein early maturing lowland varieties were grown in upland conditions. Hunan Early Dwarf did well under upland conditions and was planted is a sandy loam soil. The yield was modest at 6 pounds per 100 square foot, but would likely be much higher if provided more irrigation or grown in a lowland paddy system.
This variety flowered 70 days from transplanting and began maturing 100 days after transplanting. I harvested in 2 phases, 1 week apart. The plants reached a height of 19″ tall and tillered profusely. At the time of the second harvest there were still many green immature panicles. Hunan Early Dwarf had zero issued with lodging during periods of heavy rainfall.
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″ apart in the beds. Upland rice requires about the same amount of water as corn, around 1″ per week during the growing season. I harvest by 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. Weed management is critical early on for young rice seedlings!
- Hunan Early Dwarf
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