Rice: Where It Comes From, and How To Grow It

Even though you might be used to purchasing brown rice or white rice at the grocery store, it doesn't look that way when it comes out of the ground. Rice comes from rice crops, which are grown in countries all over the world. There is a very precise growing sequence that you need to follow to ensure the health of your rice plants. Where does rice come from, and how is it grown?

Where Does Rice Come From?

More than 90 percent of the world’s rice is grown in Asia. Most rice is grown in China, Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia. A small amount of rice is also grown in Japan, Pakistan, and numerous other Southeast Asian nations. There are different species of rice that are also grown in Europe, North America, South America, and Australia.

In the United States, Arkansas is actually the largest rice-producing state in the country. Arkansas produces around 40 percent of all rice production in the U.S., and it’s where we grow our high-quality rice.

What Does a Rice Plant Look Like?

Rice plants can vary significantly in their appearance depending on their age. A rice plant typically looks like a long stalk of grass or wheat. There are a few green blades that grow directly out of the ground, and they typically shield some thin, brown stalks that look like wheat. Then, individual grains of rice are harvested from the plant before being processed into the rice that you eat in your food.

How is Rice Grown?

Rice can be challenging to cultivate because it is a semi-aquatic plant. It requires a consistent stream of irrigation throughout the season to grow well. Silt loam and heavy clay, which are not suitable for other plants, are often perfect for growing rice.

Typically, rice is planted starting in late February, and the planting season continues through May. Rice is often irrigated using earthen levees to prevent the soil from eroding, and rice plants can grow as tall as three to four feet. Rice plants usually grow approximately 120 days after they are planted. Based on this timeline, rice plants start to mature in the middle of the summer, as individual grains of rice start to shoot from the main stalk of the plant in the form of long panicles.

How is Rice Harvested?

Rice is typically harvested between July and November. Once the farmer is ready to harvest the rice plants, water is drained from the fields.Then, large combines cut the rice, separating the grains from the stalks in the process. After this, the grains are moved to drying facilities. Forced warm air reduces the moisture content in the right to prevent the growth of mold. Then, the rice is moved to a rice mill.

What Happens in the Rice Mill?

The last step is to mill the rice. Rough rice passes through machines that remove the hulls, which are inedible. This produces brown rice, which can be further milled under pressure to remove the bran layers, which leads to white rice.

Rice is typically enriched with a thin coating to replace nutrients that are lost during the milling process. This streamlined procedure produces delicious, high-quality rice.

Arkansas River Rice Mill strives to offer the best rice available. Our state of the art rice processing equipment and facility along with flexible packaging solutions and diverse rice offerings set us apart from others. No matter what kind of rice needs you’re looking for, we’re ready to deliver.