Rice takes a long time to grow. After a 100 days or so, you finally start to see the reason the rice was planted - kernels. Growers call this period "heading" because the heads of rice emerge. You will notice that the center picture shows the heads pointing straight up. When the kernels are immature and small, the heads come up through the canopy pointing toward the sky.

     As the kernels mature they gain weight and spread out. The developing kernel is filled from materials stored in the leaves and stem and from new carbohydrate produced from photosynthesis in the uppermost leaves. The bottom right picture shows what is called "tipping". The kernels are heading toward their final weight and size and so they begin to tip over.

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