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Changing Gears

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September 09, 2011

By: Sean Doherty, California Rice Farmer

Jeez, the days go by faster every year. We started draining the water off of our earliest fields at the end of last month. They are two of our earlier maturing rice varieties, M-104 and CM-101.


I like to plant these varieties first because it allows us to get the harvest going sooner. Rice is always easier to harvest in September as opposed to November! Even planting quick varieties up front in the schedule it still looks like we won't be able to start till maybe the 1st of October. That is a long ways away from our best start date ever, five years ago, on the 6th of September.


As you can see in the above photo, the front of our shop is crowded with harvest equipment in various states of repair. We usually start in on repairing or rebuilding the harvest machines in August, and no matter what we always finish just in the nick of time. Even as I'm typing this post on my phone, the guys are banging away on a stubborn old bearing that needs to be replaced.

We better hurry up, September moves even faster than August if memory serves me correctly.

Sean Doherty is a 3rd generation rice farmer living out his dream, being a rice farmer in Dunnigan.

He farms in Yolo, Colusa, and Sutter Counties with his wife Melissa, and three kids, Hannah, Gus, and Mary. He enjoys being in the fields, watching the seasons, and sharing it with his family.

Read more about Sean in Rice Farming magazine

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