Interested in Dwarf Wheat/Rice Varieties
Hello! I'm a hobby gardener who is also interested in hydroponics. Something I've always wanted to try is growing wheat and/or rice using hydroponics. I'd love to see if I can make it work, especially if I can stack growing units vertically to increase yield per unit area. So my question is: What are some dwarf (_very short_) wheat and rice varieties with high yield that I could experiment with? I've tried searching the web with no luck (saw many articles about USDA's GRIN database but no actual links to the database).
Thank you for using Ask an Expert for help with your interest in rice growing.
As you know, this is not a crop of economic interest in the Pacific Northwest, so reliable information on growing rice is scarce. There is some interest in growing (a not quite related crop) quinoa. You could contact the Oregon State University Small Farms Program to see whether there is experience you could draw on. The contact information for this program is here: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/people/garry-stephenson
As for wheat, there is a much more extensive program. See here: https://agsci.oregonstate.edu/wheat-research/more/people for folks who might be able to provide perspective or offer suggestions, and for information on PNW varieties.
The closest place for in-depth rice growing information would be California. Try the Rice section of their Agronomy Research and Information Center, here: http://rice.ucanr.edu/ They may not have experience to offer on hydroponic rice growing, but why not try.
For home garden level seeds of this type, I often start with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. They stock several varieties of rice (wheat, and cotton). Because they deal with the retail trade, they may have ideas and advice for you.
As to the GRIN database (Germplasm Resources Information Network), it is a resource of varieties and genetic material related to our crops and livestock. Researchers may use the information and materials in breeding programs or for inquiries into the history of a variety. For more information, see here: https://data.nal.usda.gov/dataset/germplasm-resources-information-network-grin
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction, Claudia! I've continued my line of inquiry in the places you mentioned.