We Farm about six hundred acres of rice. We plant cypress and bengal variety of rice. In the late fall the preparation begin, the land is plowed and the levees are made. In late January the land is plowed again twice. Then the land is flooded. Next it is water leveled. The seed is broadcasted by plane in late March. Sometimes the fertilizer is put before the seed, but usually we put after the seed has been broadcasted. When the rice seed germinates the water is let off the field. The field is flooded again during the season. We usually start cutting the crop in early July and finish in late August. We cut 30 to 35 dry barrels average.
Rice History For Evangeline Parish
Like cotton, it is not known when rice
was first brought to Evangeline. However,
it was grown on a small scale before l886.
In that year, 50,000 bushels of rice were
produced in the section which later became
Evangeline, and in the following year 42,000
bushels were produced in the same territory.
This yield is small compared to what the present
day planters produce, for in 1939 the yield in
this region has increased to 966,240 bushels
valued at $618,240. In the preceding year
the rice farmers of Eangeline produced l,002,800
bushels of this grain which was valued at $7O5,792.
The rice crop produced in 1929 brought the greatest
financial returns of any one year that is recorded. In 1995 570,000 acres of rice were planted and in 1996 530,000 acres were planted in Louisiana.
Planting, harvesting, and milling of rice was done very
primitively in the early periods. Seed was .sown in the
mud and was buried with a piece of timber which was drawn
over the land, or livestock were turned into the planted
field to tramp the seed into the ground. The process of
cutting and shocking was performed by hand, and when
ripened the straw was placed on a platform and pounded
with a club to separate the grain from the straw; hulling
the grain was accomplished by pounding the grain, which
was emptied into an upturned hollow log, with a kind of
bludgeon. Mechanically devised horse-drawn and water
driven mills, which later introduced, became a great
labor paver. The rice industry made great strides in
Evangeline after the erection of modern machine-driven
rice mills to take care of their harvest and the
introduction of modern implements for cultivation.
Rice planters increased their acreage in 1917, due to
the high prices caused by the World War, and as a result
of this reckless speculation there was considerable
financial distress in the fall of 1921. However, those
planters who withstood the crash have adjusted themselves
and are now operating on a sound basis.