Farming serves as an important source of tribal revenue and employment for the Colusa community. The purchase and development of agricultural lands is an integral part of the Colusa Indian Community’s diversification plan.
Since 1993 when the first 180 acres of agricultural land was purchased, the tribe has cultivated its land holding to its current 4000+ acres. The Colusa Indian Community Council now farms over 4,000 acres of diversified tree, grain and field crops located in Colusa, California. The majority of the acreage, in excess of 2,800 acres, is currently planted with rice.
The arid climate, combined with Class 1 soils and snow melt makes the region of Colusa County an optimum area for a production of different varieties of high quality California rice. In addition to the high quality rice, other produce grown in this area include alfalfa, walnuts, almonds, prunes, tomatoes, onions, carrots, squash, cucumber, pumpkin and many other crops.
The medium grain rice produced by the Colusa Indian Community is planted during the months of April and May. The rice is then harvested during the months of September and October. From planting to harvest, the Tribe produces an average crop between 220,000 to 245,000 cwt. sacks per year of U.S. No. 1 medium grain Japanica rice.
Rice is then transported to the rice dryer in which the tribe holds a 1/8 interest. The rice dryer was built in 2001 and features state-of-the-art equipment. The dryer dries and stores 1,000,000 cwt sacks of U.S. medium grain rice. The dryer is located in Maxwell, California off of Interstate 5, a major thoroughfare through the State of California and is approximately 15 miles from the tribe’s operations. The dryer also features a railroad spur for railcars.
The tribe currently uses a myriad of avenues to sell our rice to various markets, i.e., co-op sales, pool sales and independent sales.
The tribe envisions a joint partnership that will maximize the tribe’s strategic lands acquisition plan and increased crop production capacity that includes inter-tribal relationships and international markets.