The latest research findings on rice production will be shared with growers, pest control advisers, industry representatives, regulatory agencies and others March 25, at a University of California Cooperative Extension Rice Production Workshop in Yuba City. The meeting will be at the Refuge Restaurant, 1501 Butte House Rd.

In addition to information on rice growth, development, pest control, variety selection and fertilization, participants will be presented with results from a study aimed at reducing herbicide use by developing alternative planting systems.

"Traditionally, growers plant their fields by flooding and then dropping the seed into the water. We're looking at what happens if you plant rice in fields that are dry," said Luis Espino, the UCCE rice farm advisor for Colusa County.

Land that is used for rice, Espino said, is so heavy it is uneconomical to plant anything else, so farmers cannot reap the usual benefits of crop rotation. Research is showing that rice farmers will be able to benefit instead by rotating planting systems.

"By rotating water seeding with dry seeding, we expect there will be a change in weed composition," Espino said. "If you begin to have a problem with certain weeds, you can rotate the system to favor different species and reduce populations of problematic weeds."

Registration for the workshop closes on March 19. To register, send a $75 check per person, payable to UC Regents, and a completed registration form to Chris Greer, UC Cooperative Extension, 142-A Garden Highway, Yuba City, Calif., 95991. The meeting is limited to 75 registrants.

To obtain a registration form or for more information, contact Espino at (530) 458-0578, Cass Mutters at (530) 538-7201 or Chris Greer at (530) 822-7515.