The United States produces only about one half of the rice that it

consumes. There is no satisfactory reason for our not raising more of

this staple crop, for five great states along the Gulf of Mexico are

well adapted to its culture.

There are two distinct kinds of rice, upland rice and lowland rice.

Upland rice demands in general the same methods of culture that are

required by other cereals, for example, oats or wheat. The growing of

lowland rice is considerably more difficult and includes the necessity

of flooding the fields with water at proper times.

A stiff, half-clay soil with some loam is best suited to this crop. The

soil should have a clay subsoil to retain water and to give stiffness

enough to allow the use of harvesting-machinery. Some good rice soils

are so stiff that they must be flooded to soften them enough to admit of

plowing. Plow deeply to give the roots ample feeding-space. Good

tillage, which is too often neglected, is valuable.

Careful seed-selection is perhaps even more needed for rice than for any

other crop. Consumers want kernels of the same size. Be sure that your

seed is free from red rice and other weeds. Drilling is much better

than broadcasting, as it secures a more even distribution of the seed.

The notion generally prevails that flooding returns to the soil the

needed fertility. This may be true if the flooding-water deposits much

silt, but if the water be clear it is untrue, and fertilizers or

leguminous crops are needed to keep up fertility. Cowpeas replace the

lost soil-elements and keep down weeds, grasses, and red rice.

Red rice is a weed close kin to rice, but the seed of one will not

produce the other. Do not allow it to get mixed and sowed with your rice

seed or to go to seed in your field.

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