Annual Meeting With Cultivated Wild Rice Industry. December, 2022.

UMN wild rice breeding team

The team had a good time as usual at this year's annual Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council meeting. Presentation topics included updates about field trials, seed physiology experiments, genetic and genomic projects, and disease research, as well as future goals and planning. Attendees also got to meet our two new program members. The food is always great during this event, as wild rice recipe contest winner dishes are served. Check out some of the recipes!

Peter Imle Talks Wild Rice. October, 2022.

Audio file

The Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council's own Peter Imle was recently on the Keepin' it rural podcast to talk all about wild rice. Give the podcast a listen to learn about Peter, the history of wild rice cultivation, ways to cook with wild rice and more!

Maybell Joins The Program. September, 2022.

Maybell in front of a University building.

Maybell has joined our program as a Ph.D. student. Her research will mainly focus on developing seed shattering related KASP markers for cultivar development and developing the first high-resolution linkage map of the wild rice genome. We are excited to have her in our program. Welcome Maybell!

Field Day At The NCROC! August, 2022.

Program members posing in front of a welcome growers banner.

The wild rice program's annual field day went off without a hitch! We had a beautiful day to show off the paddies.  Growers heard about ongoing research as well as future plans. There was a guided tour of the paddies and the new pump system that we installed this year. The day concluded with a lunch and a chance for everybody to connect!

Alaina Joins The Program For The Summer. July, 2022.

Alaina doing DNA extractions.

Alaina Braunschweig, an undergraduate from Purdue University has decided to join the wild rice program for the summer. Alaina will learn how to do DNA and RNA extractions and help with growing wild rice in our greenhouses. We are always happy when someone new wants to learn more about wild rice and our program. Welcome Alaina!

Field Season Is A Go. June, 2022.

Program members on and near a tractor planter that is planting a row in a paddy.

With a late spring, June rather than May became a busy month for the wild rice crew. The program installed a new water pumping system, which replaced the now dilapidated 1960s models that were previously at the station. Despite the seasonal delay and the need to plant quickly between rainfalls, the field season is off to a good start!

Drone Gets A Makeover. May 2022.

ICC students with Alan and Matt posing with drones.

Students from the Itasca Community College (ICC), whose campus is adjacent to the NCROC, have been working with the Kimball program to alter our drones. The drones were already capable of spraying liquids, such as those used for pesticide applications. However, we were also interested in the ability to spread fertilizer pellets using the drones. The students from ICC helped to retrofit our drone with a urea spreader, allowing for the efficient and even spread of fertilizer throughout the paddies. We love our collaborators!

Kimball Lab Gets New Grant! April, 2022.

Fungal brown spot lesions on a wild rice leaf and our new drone.

The Kimball lab received a MDA Crop Research Grant entitled "Advancing New Technologies for the Management of Fungal Diseases in Cultivated Wild Rice" this year! This funding will help us to learn more about the major fungal diseases in wild rice and ultimately, provide new recommendations to our growers on how to best combat them. Dr. Claudia Castell-Miller and Alan Mickelson will be leading the research for this new grant.

Emma And Craig Join The Program. March, 2022.

Emma and Craig headshots

The Kimball program is happy to announce the arrival of two new undergraduate researchers, Emma Sullivan and Craig Johnson. Emma is pursuing her degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management. Craig is working on a degree in Plant Science after a 15 year venture into the pottery world. Both students will get lab and greenhouse experience on the St. Paul campus and then go up north to learn about field work in Grand Rapids. Welcome!

Baby Ani Enters The World! February, 2022.

Dr. Kimball with her baby Ani

The Kimball program is excited to announce the arrival of Baby Aniah. Ani is a spot of joy to all of us in the program. Now Dr. Kimball has two hooligans to manage, but we think she is just the person for the job. Welcome baby Ani!

Matt Anderson Joins The Kimball Program. January, 2022.

Matt Anderson surrounded by plants

The Kimball program is excited to welcome Matt Anderson to the program. Matt comes from a background in both law enforcement and natural resource management. He is working at our Grand Rapids location, at the North Central Research and Outreach Center, on everything from maintenance of machinery to data collection, and the support of wild rice breeding and production.