I am just wondering if anyone is growing rice on a commercial basis, in an aquaponics system. If so I would like to know the details. I am using a "float system", and building a commercial operation. I currently have 12 grow troths and I'm in the process of adding 4 more. Some questions: Where does one get organic rice seeds? How long does it take to mature? What kind of price can I expect to recieve, for the product? How much rice can be harvested from a 4 x 8 grow troth?
Growing Rice is probably the oldest/native form of aquaponics. Hundreds of years ago, rice farmers in South east asia introduced catfish in their paddy fields, so yes, people grow rice on a commercial basis, but not in the way how we understand aquaponics today.
Depending on your location and variety, rice crop usually reaches maturity at around 115-120 days after crop establishment. You said, that you have a floating system, Im not sure if this works out well with rice. You might change to flood and drain system, its more suitable for rice.
As i dont know the variety of rice and your location, take the average world rice yield per hectar, which is around 3.5 to 4t.
How much money would you make with your rice? I assume, not a lot....or let me say it this way, its not worth to grow rice commercially unless you have some 1000 hectars.
Dont forget the postharvest practices drying, storing, milling, and processing.
I think if you really wanna go commercial you should focus on other crops than rice. Well, this is my opinion. There are a lot of people on this forum who can give you a good advise what to grow commercially.
BenHehle is correct. I am currently living in the Mekong delta and just watched the harvesting process on a small field owned by my wife's cousin this week (4000sq meter). It takes about 2sq meter to yield 1kg of unprocessed rice, so for 4x8 your looking at just over 1kg and 3-4months is about right. Your biggest problem then would be processing 1kg of rice. Not worth your effort at all.
Net profit here for the 4000sqmeter field is around $200 USD for a 4month turn over and the family has to live on that. What you can sell 1kg of rice for there locally is up to you but it isnt much. Here it is basically always sold by the farmer unprocessed to a mill.
But as mentioned traditional rice farming which is doing some type of hybrid/poly culture with fish or even crawfish is still popular. There are crawfish/rice farms in the US if you dig around on youtube.