Rice is a great food source for waterfowl with the potential of producing over 200 bushels/acre. 60 lbs. per acre is an adequate planting rate if planting into a prepared seed bed with a narrow row drill. Plant a heavier seeding rate (100 lbs./acre) if broadcasting and the level of management may be less than an a commercial rice operation. The rice seed can be broadcast onto a mud flat or into standing water if the water is drained within 3 days.
Yield is directly related to fertility and weed competition. In a high yield environment, 115-120 lbs./acre of Nitrogen is needed. When planting for waterfowl, 50 – 60 lbs./acre of Nitrogen may produce acceptable yields. Weeds that may rob yields in a commercial rice operation may actually be beneficial to waterfowl. There are numerous herbicides that can be used to control weeds in rice. Be aware though that some weeds produce good waterfowl food.
Planting dates April 1 – June 1, Planting rate 60-100 lbs./acre, Fertilizer – 50-60 lbs. of Nitrogen/acre.