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?