Processing our Rice
Large trucks and trailers, loaded with newly harvested paddy rice , make their way to our farm headquarters. Upon arrival, weights are recorded. The trucks then deposit their loads of grain to either of two dryers. One dryer is designated for Kokuho Rose® Japanese Style Rice while the other receives the Sho-Chiku-Bai® Sweet Rice. Drying is achieved by lifting the paddy rice up in grain elevators and passing it down through columns of hot air. The rice stand, where the drying occurs, gently sifts the rice as it flows downward over baffled plates. Once the paddy rice is dried to the proper moisture, it is stored in large silos until it is milled.
In the mill, the paddy rice passes through specialized machinery in multiple stages. The outer hull is rubbed off the brown rice kernel by passing paddy rice between two spinning rubber rolls. The brown rice then moves through a series of abrasive tumblers that remove the bran and expose the white rice underneath.
The milling process combined with our high grading standards produces a moderate quantity of broken kernels. We process this “second head” into rice flour. Rice flour ground from Kokuho Rose and Sho-Chiku-Bai are packaged respectively as Diamond K® Rice Flour and Blue Star® Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour.
The whole kernel rice (“#1’s”), rice flour, and second head are packaged into various sizes. The finished product is moved from our packaging warehouses to our shipping warehouse. Outside trucking and shipping lines are contracted to deliver our rice products across the nation.
Other byproducts of the milling process have a variety of uses. Rice hulls make excellent bedding materials for poultry and livestock. The bran is fed directly to animals or processed in pet foods. “Screenings” which are made up of broken rice and water grass seed are popular as poultry feed, livestock feed, and waterfowl habitat seed.
Incidentally, prior to the family’s wartime internment, they had a large hog farm. Back then rice byproducts were not commercially valuable or in demand. Keisaburo’s resourceful application was to establish the aforementioned. (Unsurprisingly, this lively side business was liquidated by the unscrupulous individuals “managing” the farm during the internment.)