There’s some fair nostalgia for me in this video. This is where I grew up, what we did there.
I’d guess the location as being between Oroville (of dam fame) and Colusa, about 20 miles south of Chico, near the Butte County Rice Development Station, near the little town of Biggs (which has the rice dryer they show and not much else). I’ve ridden a bike to all of those but Chico & Colusa, prior to getting my license, and driven to and through all if them hundreds of times.
In the background of some shots, you can see the Sutter Buttes. I’ve been all over them, too. The remnants of a volcano 3 times that tall from a few million years ago.
Mucking out weirs, driving tractors or harvesters, all familiar. Watching the crop dusters work. Holding flags at the end of each pass was one of the “good jobs”… other than that whole being drenched in pesticide if they didn’t cut the drop right or the wind shifted.
Here’s a great summary of what rice harvesting logistics is all about. I note he talked about equipment breakdowns when the video was showing blown over rice. Called lodging or blowdown, it can cut yields if early, make harvest difficult and slow if late.
Also note the potential for catastrophic compounding. He talks about the challenges this year, and how a more compressed planting schedule from spring rain lead to the deliveries beyond capacity issue at the rice dryer. Then a PG&E power cut jamming the dryer.
Only a lucky break of no fall rains along with a drying wind avoided large losses. But you can not expect good luck every year.
As things worsen, late spring plantings will hit with fall rains. As California destabilizes the grid with ever more unreliable power and tries to stop gas burning in the rice dryers, that system will limit capacity. Cooler summers will make for longer maturity times and lower yields. IMHO, it wont be catastrophic most years, but more a long slow degradation.
FWIW, white rice in glass jars keeps for many years. I’ve had decade old rice and it was fine. I’ve presently got 25 lbs stored and will likely add more.
So, if you would like to visit where I grew up, and see some of the formational experiences of my life, this video captures a lot of it. I’ve litterally walked around that rice dryer (it hasn’t changed much) and climbed on rice harvesters like they show (though the old ones had open cabs, enclosed only showing up after I was done climbing on things :-)