The Lingo’s consultant is Richard Costello, but Lingo adds his own twist to scouting, flying his rice several times a day in a two-seat Scout. “It’s the quickest way to check levees,” Lingo said. “It has a 180-horsepower motor so you can fly slow and get a birds-eye view. When everything is flooded up, it takes me around and an hour to get a good look at everything.”

After fields are drained and ready for harvest, the Lingos run three John Deere combines, two 9770s and a S670, with 30-foot Draper headers. “After we get our rice harvested, if it’s dry, we like to burn our rice straw off. As soon as we can, we start tilling it under, getting it ready for the soybean crop the next year.”

The Lingos store rice on the farm, which has well over 300,000 bushels of storage, in eight locations, most within a 3-mile range of the farm. They haul to terminals with seven trailer trucks with hopper bottoms and three 10 wheelers.

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While hybrids have become the mainstay on the Lingo operation, the family is always looking for better varieties and or hybrids. “LSU AgCenter has been real good all about bringing new varieties on,” Lingo said. “We have kind of gotten away from LSU varieties and gone to the hybrids, but I think LSU is making good progress. And the RiceTec breeders have some good, new rice hybrids in the works. There is always room for improvement.”

Lingo is in the second year of participation in the Louisiana Rice Research Verification Program (LRRVP), working with LSU AgCenter Extension rice specialist Johnny Saichuk, who visits Lingo’s verification field weekly from planting to harvest.

Saichuk and Lingo are concentrating on producing the most economical rice crop they can by easing back on fertilizer rates. “Johnny has talked to RiceTec about the variety we have in the trial, and we think the lower rate should be adequate.”

Saichuk will collect yield and cost of production information for the verification trial and Lingo’s usual fertility program “to compare net returns and see what direction we need to go.”

Lingo says LSU’s verification program “is like a learning tool. They really like to recruit young farmers to teach them all aspects of raising rice from planting until harvest.”

Heavy rains delayed planting and spraying on all the Lingo’s crops this spring, and the Lingos were just getting back into fields in mid-June. “It was the last week of April before we got anything planted on our farm,” Lingo said. “We had a good run, then 10 days ago (June 6), it started raining again at and put a damper on everything.

“We’re not terribly behind, but we’re not where we want to be right now. Most years, we have all of our rice flooded up by now and getting close to layby soybeans. But everything is looking real good, and we definitely have plenty of moisture.”

Lingo is a member of the Northeast Louisiana Rice Growers Association and represents West Carroll Parish on the NLRGA board. He also represents northeast Louisiana on the Louisiana Rice Council.

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