Rice is an annual plant that is harvested once a year. The cultivation of rice is suited for countries with low labor costs and high rainfall as it is very labor intensive and requires large amounts of water for cultivation. Small rice seedlings are hand planted into rice paddies that are then filled with water. The seeds draw nutrients from the paddies water, which is also the same water that keeps the weeds in control. As the rice grows throw the top of the paddy water, small green flowers grow and the wind pollinates the plants. The paddies will change from green to a golden yellow then to a pale honey color of parched straw, which is an indication that the rice is ready to be harvested.
The levees are drained and the soil is given time to set before they start to extract the rice from the straw. In the United States, everything is mechanized. Machines will harvest the rice in preparation for the milling process to begin. Once the rice has gone through the milling process it is ready to be sold in the market..