the rains stop and the ground dries some the grower goes out with a chisel
(center) to "open up" the ground. This allows the ground to dry out quicker.
There are many different operations that must be performed before the field
is ready to plant. Multiple discing operations (top left) are required
to break up the clods and expose the weeds so that they will die. Many of
the pieces of equipment are large and must fold up to be transported (top).
Because the water level is critical, the fields must be flat. A land plane (top right) is a long blade on an even longer frame that is used to even out the bumps in the field. The grower may also laser level the field occasionally to get it perfectly flat.
Once the main part of the field is prepared there are several other essential operations. A backhoe is used to put in gates for water control (far upper right). A special disc is used to form the levees that divide up the field into smaller basins (far lower right).
Finally, the field is ready for to be rolled with a grooved roller. This roller may be used alone (lower right) or liquid fertilizer may be added while rolling the field (lower left). In the lower right picture you can see the grooves that the roller leaves. When the seed is applied by airplane, it settles into these grooves so that it will not drift across the field. This gives growers a more even distribution of plants.
Once these operations are complete the field is ready for water and seeding.