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For Keith Davis, who produces wild rice for Uncle Ben’s, as well as commodity rice, on K&S Farming around Yuba City, Calif., the lack of progress on a farm bill is putting a lot of pressure on young farmers. "I don’t know how they’re going to cope with it. And with the new banking regulations, there’s not nearly as much leeway as there was when farming got bad in the 1980s, which is when I got started."
Steven Schuler, who farms 500 acres of medium-grain rice around Woodland, Calif., got started about 10 days late on planting rice in 2012, but managed to produce a good crop. “We had a lot of weed issues. It seemed like we had a lot of resistant weeds this year, with watergrass and sedges.”
The weather contributed to at least a portion of the problem, Schuler noted. “It was wet so we couldn’t get our ground worked properly.”
Schuler’s biggest rice production concerns are price stability and water issues. “There’s always pressure when there’s less water available.”