Flooding Rice Fields, South Carolina

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Three things are needed to grow rice. These are a warm climate, an abundance of water, and rich soil. This means that in the United States it is grown near the coast or in the river valleys of certain of our southern states. Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Mississippi grow nearly all the rice raised in our country. It is sowed in drills with the rows wide enough apart to allow the young plants to be cultivated. Its cultivation is quite different from other small grains. This is because rice is naturally a water plant. It must therefore be sowed in fields that can be irrigated. In Louisiana and Texas these irrigation plants cost thousands of dollars. Concrete reservoirs (rz´ r-vwôr) in some places have been built so that the water can be let out over the fields as it is needed. But the usual method is to pump the water directly from a river or a bayou (bi´) into large mains small pipes lead to individual plantations. The water plant may be owned by a company of farmers, or it may be controlled by a company that rents the water at so much a cubic foot to the farmers who use it. This view shows a small section of a reservoir. The dam is fitted with gates. The workman is now letting water into the canal beyond the dam, enough water to flood the fields below. Small ditches lead from this canal to the fields. When the water in the canal rises to a certain point, the fields are flooded to the proper depth. Rice fields are flooded at least three times. As soon as the grain is sowed the water is turned into the fields. The fields are drained and dried from time to time, so the roots of the plants may have air, and so the soil can be cultivated. Keystone ID: 20010 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.