Portions of the South Texas coast, especially western and southwestern part of Houston and around the Beaumont area, have soils and water ideal for rice production. The Texas A&M Research and Extension Center at Beaumont is located in extreme southeast Texas, just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and 30 miles from the Louisiana border to the east. The Beaumont Center provides educational support for rice breeding and genetics along with conventional and organic rice production. The Center is part of the Texas A&M University System and has faculties from the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, Texas Cooperative Extension and Texas A&M University.
The Texas rice industry contributes nearly $500 million to the state economy every year. Roughly $150 million is directly related to the value of the rice crop. The rest attributes to the revenue generated from milling and other rice related industries, and outdoor activities such as bird watching and hunting. The rice producing area of Texas is located in the heart of our Central Flyway for migratory birds. Texas rice farmers play a vital role maintaining winter feeding grounds for migratory birds that flock south in the winter months.
- Release conventional and specialty rice varieties with higher yield, quality and biotic and abiotic stress tolerance.
- Identify genetic loci and mechanism for resources use efficiency in rice including nitrogen and Phosphorus.
- Explore, integrate and develop traits providing resistance/tolerance to important diseases, herbicides, cold and high nighttime temperature in rice.
- Researchable problems related to soils and nutrient uptake by rice.
- The influence of low oxygen concentrations on germination and plant growth, N transformation in rice soils, environmental quality as influenced by fertilizers
- Rice cultural practices for both conventional and organic rice production system, international agriculture and methane emission from rice fields as it relates to global warming.
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Learn More About Research Areas of Focus in Soil and Crop Sciences
In the realm of soil and crop sciences, research focuses on a myriad of critical areas that drive sustainable agricultural practices and global food security. Soil health and management take center stage, exploring ways to optimize soil fertility, structure, and nutrient cycling to enhance crop productivity. Genetic advancements in crop breeding and biotechnology are pursued to develop resilient varieties that withstand environmental stressors and ensure high yields. Precision agriculture, integrating technology and data analytics, aims to fine-tune farming practices, reducing resource waste and maximizing efficiency. The exploration of sustainable agroecosystems delves into the intricate relationships between crops, soil, and the environment, fostering environmentally friendly approaches. Such research not only informs farming practices but also contributes to vital policy discussions, shaping the future of agriculture in a rapidly changing world.