Specializing in Wetland Restoration
Wild Rice Planting Instructions
Fall planting - August to October
You can plant your rice seed in a dry prepared seedbed. Harrow the planting area. Spin spread seed on -75+ lbs per acre. (It won't go through a seed drill because of the almost 1" awn.) Apply fertilizer- about 70 units N + 5 units P + 5 units K (about 150 lbs 46-0-0 and 50 lbs 16-16-16) Harrow in, a cultipacker is best, going around and around then crossways. Then roll planted area. There is enough moisture, even when the soil seems dry, to maintain seed viability.
- Flood now or let the Fall rains wet and then flood for you
- Seed will sprout about March/April
- Keep water on it from now until your plants have made seed and the seed is shattering off plants
- Water is your weed control- Wild Rice likes to grow in 8" to 36" water depth. In the high plains 8" to 12" is best
When you receive your Wild Rice seed it will have a pungent odor. This is normal after being stored in water in a coldbox all winter. It does not mean your seed is bad. Being stored in cold water (33 degrees) for 5 months allows the rice to break dormancy. When you receive it, it is ready to sprout, you can broadcast the seed on the water. It will sink to the bottom. The earlier in the Spring that you plant, the better. If you can work the ground of your rice pond area, follow Fall plant instructions. If not, just broadcast the seed on the water. It will sink to the bottom and sprout when water temp reaches 42 degrees.
- Fall planting in water too shallow, the waterfowl can eat your seed. This isn't an issue if seeded in worked ground, harrowed and rolled.
- When the rice has ripened and mostly fallen off into the water you can drain the pond to discourage waterfowl from feeding too early. Refill with shallow water for the season.
- If your pond has a sloping or uneven bottom, you can encourage or discourage feeding using water depth.