Presentation of the compagny : Le Silo de Tourtoulen
Rice growing area in Camargue
Rice growing in Camargue
Tourtoulen tour
Storage of rice
Manufacturing of rice
Different types of rice
Certification and P.G.I.
Tourtoulen "AGRI" traecability
Actuality in Tourtoulen
Access / contact
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Rice is almost mature and during this month the harvest begins. The harvesting machine are traked to enter in the rice fields which have been drained out of water during the august month. The harvesting machines leave behind their way a deep rut that must be removed as soon as the ground is dry. Drying is accomplished by a strong local wind, the “Mistral”, very present at this time of the year. The lands which have been used for dry cultures (wheat) are leveled by a laser method.

Harvest is finished. Paddy rice is brought to a storage silo where it is dried, sorted by varieties and delivered by truck to merchant who will package it in small amount and retail it.

This time is devoted to the preparation of the ground of the next rice field : Plowing, harrowing, leveling by laser.
It’s in april that rice growing start again.

At first, fertilizers are spreaded and burried with a harrow. If the temparature is high enough, the rice fiel is flooded. Water is pulled by big pumps from the Rhône to a large canal to feed several rice farms with water. The farm owner share the cost of maintenance and security of the pumps.
Each owner open a small sluice gate called “Martelière” in Camargue and conduct the water through a multitude of small channels called “Porteaux” to the paddy field.

May is the most important month and the most essantial for the future harvest. The rice is sowed directly in water with a tracked tractor with iron wheel called “skelenton wheel”. Paddy fields have been made to be partially waterproof due to a compact layer at 20 cm of detph. Then, weed traitments are applied to avoid the proliferation of undesirable plants which stifle the rice.
During this time where rice is sprouting, all its enemies invade the surface of the crop and destroy the rice. Flies come to lay small worms which eat the young sprout, blue and green algae consume the oxygen essential for rice and fungus attack the grain.
Cold is a friend of all these undesirable predators, so it is important to have a hot weather without wind to force the germination and to cross all these constraints of nature. At the end of may, rice come out of the water level and the field become green. This is a good omen for a normal and rich harvest if there is no disaster during the rest of the year.
Weed traitments must be applied with a maximum of precision to get good results. Helicopters work at full time during this period.

Fields become a real lawn and we don’t see the water anymore.
There is still one nitrogen spread whose the amount depends of the number of grain per ear. During this month, work consists of controling the level of the water which follow the growth of the rice to reach about 10 centimeters.

Rice is growing. At the end of the month, the first ears come out on the earlier varieties. These green and tender ears bloom in a few days and the pollination becomes.

All the varieties bloom at their turn. It’s a very important month because if the temperature go down below 14 °C the grain may die and give only empty ears.
The harvest can be lost in a few hours if the temperature is too low. That’s why it is important to sow different varieties which bloom at different time. At the end of the month, it is possible to evaluate the yield even if it’s difficult to give a correct number. We wait for the verdict of the harvest machine.

The cycle is coming to an end. The Camargue’s yield turn around 6 tons per hectare with a large difference from a land to another. During an exceptional year, the yield can reach 9 tons per hectare. A rice farmer must produce at least 5 tons per hectare to pay the expenses of the culture. At the end of the harvest it is possible to know if we earn or loose money.
But, every rice farmer has a passion for his job and always hopes that the next year will be better.

Silo de Tourtoulen
Le Sambuc - 13200 ARLES - Tél. +33 (0)4 90 97 21 24 - Fax. +33 (0)4 90 97 22 14