Growing rice

I really don’t know why, but I’ve never grown rice before. It is usually an integral component of most prepper’s long term food stores… it sure is for me. I like to grow items that could help me become self sufficient during a SHTF crisis, and I don’t see why rice shouldn’t be near the top of the list. I especially like items that store easily and rice surely does that. So I’ve ordered some seed and will try it next year.

I think the main reason I never grew it was because of images in my mind of rice grown in Asia and actually over in Arkansas, with these large perfectly flat fields that need to be flooded. I was considering doing that but as I researched rice, I found out there are two main types. Lowland rice is what I was thinking of, where the rice grows in flooded fields. But I found out there is a type called upland rice, which grows like any normal crop. It does not need flooding but does need an inch of water a week… similar to corn.  This rice can be grown all over the US, including the far north, such as Maine. There are a bunch of varieties available. I’ve ordered Loto, which is a risotto type of rice.

Been doing a bit of research. Seems upland rice produces about half the yield of the flooded lowland rice. I’m reading where the lowland rice average yield is around 7000-8000 lbs per acre. So obviously half of that would be say 3500 lbs per acre. Now being realistic, growing during a crisis with limited resources, I’d count on maybe 1000-2000 lbs per acre for upland rice, to be on the safe side. One pound of uncooked rice has around 1600 calories. So just looking at rice, which I understand is not a balanced diet, someone would need around 1 1/2 pounds of rice per day. Multiply that by 365, you get around 550 lbs per year. That tells me an acre of rice could feed two people for a year… and probably more. That is rather impressive.

Now of course I grow more food and one needs more balance, but still, in my book that is great news. My main go to survival crop is amaranth, and just those two would provide a lot of nutrition. Mix in the three sisters (corn, beans & winter squash), which I store lots of seed, and you have a very healthy diet.  Then of course other things can be made from rice… such as wine (sake) and flour.

I will test this next year & report back.  Anyone here grown upland rice?




  • Comments (4)

    • 7

      I’ve been to the Philippines and seen those vast flooded rice patties and thought it was so cool. I would love to spend a year in an Asian country learning how they grow rice from start to finish.

      I used to just buy the cheap long grain white rice and have been working on a 25 pound bag for the past couple years. My next bag will probably be a bag of jasmine rice. It is more fragrant and tastes so much better. I wish I would have known about different types earlier. Have you tried loto rice? I’ll have to try and find it at the store and see how I like it.

      I admire your desire to grow rice. It is so cheap, readily available, and stores so well, that many preppers would just store 100-200 pounds and call it good. But I like your mentality of self sufficiency and being able to grow as much as you would like indefinitely. 

      I hope that I can get into gardening this year and become a bit more self sufficient. It is such an important and valuable prepping skill that I want to learn.  

      If I wanted to follow in your stead and grow some loto, (probably on a much smaller scale) what resources are you turning to that I could learn from as well?

      • 7

        I’ve never eaten loto rice before but I really like the creamy risotto style rice.  I cook a fair amount of paella and store bomba rice for that.  Actually gonna cook some tonight.  I normally would do shrimp paella but I’m gonna try to do a shrimp risotto, but cooked in the style of paella.

        I’m gonna do on a small scale first… probably a bed that is 25′ x 15′.  If it works as planned, I’ll save most of the rice for seed.  Will most certainly eat some too.  🙂

        I got my initial info from :  https://www.5acresandadream.com/2019/05/grain-growing-upland-rice.html

        And a link there, led me to: https://www.sherckseeds.com/seeds-for-sale/

        Besides liking risotto style rice, what led me to loto was the reviews that state it is very resistant to lodging (getting blown over in heavy wind/rain) and the easiest to de-hull.  It is also an awnless variety, which makes it easier to thresh.  Here is the direct link to loto:  https://www.sherckseeds.com/product/loto-rice-2/

      • 9

        That is good to start off small and learn how to do everything and make sure you like it. Thank you for the links. I am surprised how many types of rice there are! And not very expensive. I’ll have to pick up a variety or two.

        That 5acresandadream website took me to this website that talks about making a DIY rice de-huller. I think that would be super fun to make.

      • 6

        Yes, interesting site.  One video shows de-hulling by just rubbing two boards together.  For small scale, like we are talking, seems like best way is to just pound with a wooden mallet.  If I see I want to increase my plot greatly, Grainmaker has Homestead Huller Kit for their model #99 grain mill… which I already possess.