Ingenuity common Isbell trait

Ingenuity runs deep in the Isbell family of England, Ark. Leroy Isbell is the pioneer of zero-grade rice production and his grandson, Mark, has developed a water depth gauge for the practice.

Mark credits the original design of the device to an unknown inventor in Jonesboro, Ark. But he's made improvements that make the gauge last longer.

The gauge, which consists of PVC pipe, metal conduit, a float and a depth indicator, is driven into the ditch around the zero-grade field. The float pushes up a PVC tube that is attached to a red arrow pointing to a row of numbers.

To calibrate, the gauge is driven down in the ditch until the arrow indicates the number of inches of water in the zero grade rice field at that moment. After that, you're set for the season. “I've sold 45 of them so far,” Mark said.

You can find information on the devices at [email protected], or call Mark at 501-454-9672. They sell for $30 each.

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