The Rice Research and Extension Center annual field day is set for Aug. 11 at the Stuttgart, Ark., facilities.

A 90-minute tour of research plots will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a group leaving every 30 minutes from the new Arkansas Rice Farmers Conference Center. The last group will leave at 9 a.m. The tour will include presentations on a new hybrid rice breeding program and new conventional varieties, rice fertility management and weed management in rice and soybeans.

Following the field tours, a program starting at 10:45 a.m. in the conference center will cover economics and policy issues of:

• Water availability and rights, by Tom Riley, community and economic development specialist.

• Establishing a carbon footprint for rice varieties, by Lanier Nalley, agricultural economist.

• Yield potential by planting date for rice and soybeans, by Terry Griffin, agricultural economist.

• Biofuels, climate change and irrigation implications, by Michael Popp, agricultural economist.

On the field tour, Zhongbu Yan, who recently joined the staff to help develop a hybrid rice breeding program, will show test plots of breeding lines, along with Wengui Yan, a geneticist at the USDA Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center, and Christopher Deren, RREC director.

An update on a new nitrogen soil test for rice will be provided by Trenton Roberts, a new assistant professor who helped develop the breakthrough technology. He is now conducting field verification trials. The program is on track for a partial rollout to producers in 2011 and availability in 2012 for rice on silt loam soils.

Plant breeders Karen Moldenhauer and James Gibbons will give updates on new rice varieties and possible future varieties. New varieties include Roy J, Taggart, Templeton, CL 142, CL 181, and the new aromatic rice, JES. Plant pathologist Rick Cartwright will discuss disease resistance of new and current varieties.

Division weed scientist Bob Scott will discuss weed management programs in rice and soybeans and Extension agronomist Jeremy Ross will discuss soybean production issues.

Displays on the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board and other commodity checkoff programs and research project posters will be presented in and around the lobby area.

In a nearby tent, visitors can see displays and visit with plant pathologist Fleet Lee and others about plant diseases and with biosystems engineer Sammy Sadaka on biofuels research.

Miss Arkansas Rice will be on hand at a “Living Well and Eating Well with Rice” tent. A “Rice ‘A’ Riffic” tent will have activities for children, and visitors can test the decibel level of their MP3 music players.

For more information, call Suzanne Patterson, (870) 673-2661, e-mail spatter@uark.edu, or visit: http://aaes.uark.edu/rice.html.