A web log, better known as a “blog,” to monitor progression of a 10-acre field of rice at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station is online for farmers, teachers and anyone curious about the particulars of growing a rice crop.

The blog also features a Web camera, and the Web cam usually will be aimed at the field being followed in the blog.

David Boethel, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for research, said the blog is a tool that scientists can use to quickly get their results to growers.

“This blog also has potential for researchers to get input from growers,” Boethel said.

According to Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension, this is the LSU AgCenter’s first official blog.

“It’s just one more way that we are working to bring research-based information to growers,” he said.

Coreil said teachers will also find the blog useful to help students learn how rice gets from the field to the table.

The blog started with the planting of the field on March 20. The rice from this field will be sold as registered seed if it passes all inspections and testing.

Each phase of the growing season will be followed in the blog, and scientists at the Rice Research Station will help explain development of the crop and how problems are addressed. When something happens at the field, a brief article will be posted on the blog with photographs.

“Growing rice is a complicated process, with many variables and problems, and solving those problems can often be an expensive undertaking,” said Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter’s southwestern Louisiana region, which includes its Rice Research Station. “With the blog, we hope to help farmers reduce some of those costs and pass along timely information.”

Linscombe said farmers will be able to follow the blog and compare the progress of rice in that field to their own crops.

He also urged readers of the blog to make comments and suggestions for improvements.

The blog is available at this Internet address: http://lsuagcenterrice.blogspot.com/To view the web cam, go to: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/ricecam/.