Larrabee Farms is a crop diverse and vertically integrated company. In everything we do, science and technology are at the forefront of our thinking. We strive to be early adopters, are forward thinking, safety conscious and environmentally focused. We look for crops that have sustainable futures, healthy attributes and have environmentally sound farming practices. When we decide to integrate another step of the process from the farm to your fork, we commit to being the best steward of every aspect for the worlds safest, cleanest and best tasting food.
Rice farming has been at out roots for over 80 years. Today we continue to manage with long term goals in mind, whether its’ trying new techniques, improving the environmental aspects or making the current process more efficient. As spring arrives the fields are drained from the winter rains. When the ground is dry enough, usually April and May, the ground work begins. This is a process of opening up the soil so that hit will dry and aerate. It is important to have dry soil prior planting as the air in the soil will add vigor to the plants while they establish the first 30 days. Fertilizer is applied to the dry soil and the ground in rolled tight with 3 inch creases spaced 9 inches apart. The surface will look like a washboard.
The field is now flooded and the seed in flown on by airplane. The seed settles in the grooved washboard floor and is protected from wind that would otherwise move the seed around the field. For the next 30-45 days the crop is established and any herbicides used would be applied during this time. Water is then applied as a permanent flood with continuous monitoring till harvest. Most rice varieties we grow are about 130-160 days to maturity. By the end of August the water is turned off and the field will slowly dry. 30 -40 days later the crop will be mature and harvest can begin. Harvest itself will take 4-5 weeks depending on weather conditions and it’s a process that doesn’t stop until it’s over. Our rice dryer will work 24 hours a day to keep up with the day’s work of our combines. Once the crop is in and the rice is dried to storable moisture of approximately 13-14% the fields are worked one last time to mix the left behind straw back into the soil. We flood the fields back and Mother Nature takes over with the annual Pacific Flyway waterfowl migration and, it is a sight to behold. We were some of the early adopters of incorporating rice straw in lieu of burning. Through generational leadership we continue to work and support the Industry to be the best it can be calrice.org
Our rice seed program has evolved to become a certified seed grower and handler. We continue to develop the operation with state of the art machinery and quality handling. We maintain our own seed fields and are inspected numerous times through the year to insure the rice is viable and weed and disease free. Every two years be will purchase foundation seed to replace our seed lots to ensure they are true to type.
Our rice dryer and storage facility was first started by our grandfather in the 1940’s and has expanded over the past three generations. Quality management and continued investment allows us to handle the rice with care. During the last large expansion investment a decision was made to adapt a more efficient belt conveyance system. That has led to more energy savings and easier handling of the product and tests and trials with inverted fingers within the dryer column instead of a typical turn-flow system have led to better handling efficiencies.
FARM: P.O. Box 172 Butte City, California 95920
OFFICE: 250 Vallombrosa Ave, Suite 370, Chico, California 95926