Rice is one of the most consumed cereals worldwide, the second after corn. Rice in Spain is grown in several communities and in some it needs controlled irrigation, as we are going to study in this article.
Rice cultivation in Spain
According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, rice in Spain is grown in the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Extremadura, Catalonia, Valencia and Aragon.
Rice soil science
Rice has very thin, fibrous and fasciculated roots.
They are of two types: temporary and adventitious. The stem alternates nodes and internodes and does not normally exceed 120 cm in length.
This grass plant needs a lot of water and a high level of salinity, in addition to high temperatures. It is for this reason that it is grown in the southern and Mediterranean areas.
The soil can be from sandy to clay. The ideal pH is 6.6.
Precision agriculture with Plantae probes in rice cultivation in Spain
Our company offers the possibility of controlling rice farms with precision agriculture throughout the production process and with:
- Soil and ambient temperature probe: should not be less than 15 degrees for germination and growth. If they are higher than 27 degrees, it is more sensitive to diseases. If they are too low the plant becomes sterile. With the probes we can control the state of the root zone and the ideal moment to cultivate. Low temperatures also impair pollination. Flowering begins the same day that the bolting occurs, always in sunny weather.
- Soil moisture probe: rice needs a lot of water and can have different types of irrigation, may be by flooding and distribution by terraces or by pumping systems. In any case, the humidity of the subsoil is measured in real time to maintain a good balance between the needs of the plant and the distribution of irrigation.
- Conductivity sensor: measures the conductive tendency of the subsoil and the accumulation of salts, necessarily high in rice cultivation.
- Relative humidity probe: allows the control and forecasting of pests that depend on themeasurement of leaf moisturethat we can obtain with a formula in which one of the magnitudes isrelative humidity.
All these parameters guarantee considerable water and energy savings as well as controlling the plantation in real time.
They adapt to all terrains and all weather conditions. In Andalusia and Extremadura especially, we need a water supply that will be better controlled by sensors.
Varieties of rice grown in Spain
The three most cultivated varieties are grain:
- Long Indica type.
- Medium Japanese type.
- Round Japanese type.
Within the japonica variety we can find appellations of origin such as:
- Denomination of Origin “Valencia Rice” in the Valencian marsh with the variety “Senia” that absorbs a lot of flavor and with round grain and the so-called “Bomba strong>«, widely used for the typical Valencian paella due to its texture when cooked. Another Bahía variety, the most cultivated in Spain.
- Also PDO «Ebro Delta Rice», highlighting the «Tebre» variety, in addition to cultivating this region the «Bomba» type, which stands out for withstanding excess cooking and the Senia, Fonsa and Bahía varieties.
- PDO “Calasparra rice”, a round and hard grain hybrid.
- In Isla Mayor in Seville in the Guadalquivir marshes, the «Marisma» variety, also short-grain, is typical.
- In Extremadura in the Vegas del Guadiana, round and steamed rice stands out.
La variedad tipo índico o largo «Puntal» muy adecuado para paellas. El más largo, el «Thaibonnet«, especial para arroz blanco.
Another variety of aromatic type is “Basmati”, the variety “Akitakomatchi” for making sushi and the variety “Arborio” for risottos. Finally, highlight the “Black or Emperor” rice for special paellas.
This is the most cultivated in Spain, within the 80,000 varieties of rice that we can find cataloged worldwide.