A rice grower watches the weather very carefully as they prepare to plant their rice. Several things must come together at the same time: 1) the ground preparation and fertilization must be complete, 2) the field must be flooded with water, 3) the seed must be ready.

     Many crops are planted with "dry" seed. California rice is usually planted after it has been soaked and begins to sprout. The upper right picture shows how the rice is loaded into bins. Moving around clockwise, the bin is filled about 80% full. Water is added and the seed soaks for 24-48 hours. Look carefully in the middle picture and you can see the roots beginning to show. The water is drained out and the seed sits for another 24 hours. Then the seed is ready to plant.

     This soaking process is why the farmer must watch the weather so carefully. Once the soaking process is started, it cannot be stopped. You have about 24 hours to get the seed planted - after that it cannot be used.

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