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INCORPORATION OF RICE STRAW IS TOUCHY MATTER

How does it affect yields and nitrogen nutrition of following crop? How much can be returned to the soil without harming production? How much nitrogen is needed to decompose the straw and produce a crop? These are all under study.

PROPER CHOPPING IMPROVED INCORPORATION

Immediately after harvest the straw was cut by the experimental field reeltype chopper-spreader into 2-inch sections or shorter and discharged into the stubble. This made it easy to operate discs and plows if the field was not too wet. Costs per acre: about $2.25. One chopper can keep up with 4 or 5 rice combines.

THERE IS SOME SKEPTICISM ABOUT WINDROW BURNING

Caution: Findings are not conclusive that straw and stubble burn hotter and cleaner when two windrows are raked together. Those results were in a single season with somewhat unusual weather conditions.

BURNING AGAINST THE WIND SHOWS PROMISE

The fire was hotter, reducing the amount of particles going into the air by some 40 percent. Here, again, though, further tests are needed.

NEW WAYS TO USE RICE STRAW

Can rice straw be converted from problem to income? Some leads indicate processed rice straw may be profitably fed to livestock. Study continues.

An economic study has been completed of typical harvesting, handling, and processing systems for using rice straw, as a livestock feed. Involved were: (a) field baling and stockpiling; (b) field cubing and stockpiling; (c) stationary cubing, mixed with other feed ingredients; (d) total crop harvest concept including hauling to dryer, dehydrating, threshing, cubing, cooling, and stockpiling; and (e) soil incorporation. Report now available.

New ways have been tested of treating rice straw to increase cellulose digestibility 50 percent. Preliminary tests with beef and sheep were reported in June.

Field and stationary cubing tests have shown the bonding effect of various additives mixed with rice straw. This research was reported in February 1971.

 

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