During a dry fall, Jack and crew usually flatten their rice levees.

"Use a levee-splitter, a disk, whatever you can get across the levee to get it knocked down and smoothed off.

“Once the levee is smoothed out, if we can burn the rice stubble, we do. If it doesn’t burn, that doesn’t stop us from going forward because we’re on a time schedule. You want to get the field rowed up before it rains.”

The crew uses a roll-a-cone hipper to make 12-row, 38-inch beds. Jack is a big fan of the hippers. “This is a very tough, very durable piece of machinery and work on all soil types. Over three years of heavy use, we’ve only broken a couple of bolts. I’m not a machinery salesman but there isn’t another piece of equipment on our farm that has lasted that long. And they’re economical, as well.

“So, we drag that through a rice field. It may plug up once or twice but we just drop, get unstuck and take off again. It doesn’t look pretty after the first round. Wait a day or two, come back and hit the field a second time. That’ll give you a row that looks a bit untidy.”

Then, just leave the field for the winter rains. “When you come back, you’ll drag it, roll it or, like we did in 2013, just drop in and plant on the row. We cut 80-bushel soybeans doing that.”