Rice is a grain staple used in every form of ethnic food dish known. Currently, in the mountains and foothills of northwestern North Carolina, there is no where to source rice locally, or even regionally wholesale wise. The closest larger scale rice production is over 250 miles away in coastal South Carolina. Most rice coming in to NC is shipped in from out of state and lacks the true local connection. I would like to research growing two varieties of rice, in an upland setting, for local food consumption. Rice can be grown without flooding. Some varieties are more adapted to being grown in an upland setting where they are not flooded. For my research project, I will grow two rice varieties that are adapted to growing in upland conditions. These would be non-GMO varieties and could potentially supply a large portion of rice grain regionally for several local wholesale and retail markets. Every part of the rice plant can be used without any waste. The grain for food or feed, the hulls for local beer cleansing and feed, and the fodder for hay for livestock. The introduction of locally sourced rice has a potential for a large impact on the local agricultural scene by giving the local farmer a multi-use product and sustaining profitability.
Project objectives from proposal:
To establish two, 2-acre trial plots and test two varieties of rice to document potential yield and adaptability for rice production in northwestern North Carolina. When the crop is harvested, pounds yield of grain will be measured to see what the total yield is, compared between varieties.