Industry News

Remembering Dr. Carl W. Johnson

The CRC and rice industry was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Carl Johnson last week. It’s safe to say, the California rice industry would not be what it is today were it not for Dr. Johnson who devoted his entire professional career to developing improved rice cultivars for the industry.Carl earned his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Kansas State University, his master’s degree in agronomy from North Dakota State, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in agronomy and plant genetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He came to work at the Rice Experiment Station (RES) for the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation (CCRRF) in 1974 and retired in 2008.

During his tenure RES released 38 rice varieties to California growers. Of the 14 Calrose type medium-grain varieties, his primary responsibility, several have been particularly successful. Industry standard M-202 was released in 1985, and M-205 and M-206, which combine high yield potential and improved milling, and M-208, with resistance to the race of rice blast disease found in California, mark additional accomplishments for Dr. Johnson.

Carl played a major role in the release of 10 premium-quality medium grains, short grains, and waxy varieties and was a contributor to 10 long-grain releases from RES, as well as several germplasm releases.

He was instrumental in obtaining Plant Variety Protection for CCRRF varieties and lead inventor for multiple utility patents on rice cultivars. Some 14 Calrose medium grain varieties were released during Carl’s leadership in the medium grain project at RES, in addition to his contribution to an additional 15 releases in 7 other market types.

Dr. Johnson was a member of many honorary societies and has received well-deserved recognition for his professional accomplishments, including for Distinguished Service in Agriculture from Kansas State University, the Genetics and Plant Breeding Award for Industry from the Crop Science Society of America, the California Rice Industry Award in 2004, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Rice Technical Working Group in 2008.

“For all of us who knew Dr. Carl Johnson he was a big man in stature, personality, heart, and dedication to the California rice industry,” said Dr. Kent McKenzie, the recently retired Rice Breeder and Director of the RES who worked alongside Johnson for years. “Contributions he made to the California rice variety improvement program to yield and grain quality over his long career were even bigger and will not be forgotten.”

Carl is survived by his wife of 54 years, Faye, and daughters Cathy and Brenda. A memorial service is being planned for June, and his family is organizing a memorial to donate to causes Carl was passionate about, including the Faith Lutheran Church in Chico, California, Lutheran World Relief, advocacy for young women hunters, and any cause that promotes female plant geneticists and scientists.

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Upcoming Enrollment Opportunity for Climate Smart Commodity Program

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Through USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, the USA Rice – Ducks Unlimited Rice Stewardship Partnership will be able to offer over $9 million in financial assistance to California rice producers. This competitive opportunity will offer rice producers a suite of more than 30 practices to choose from to fit the needs and capabilities of their operation.

Please join us for an informational workshop on June 25, from 1-3pm in Yuba City at Hillcrest Catering (210 Julie Dr, Yuba City).

Registration is Open for Rice Quality Workshop July 18, 2024

Registration is Open for Rice Quality Workshop July 18, 2024

Click the link below to register.

The California Rice Commission, UC Davis and the UC Cooperative Extension are hosting the 2024 Rice Quality Workshop on July 18th from 9:00AM to 12:30PM. The Workshop will feature existing and expanded topics from the Rice Quality Handbook such as California rice quality in the global market, Calrose variety qualities, climate effects, agronomic effects on quality, USDA rice grades, MRLs and fumigants, and drying and storage impacts on quality.