2009 Rice Harvest Update

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -This year has been a tough one for Arkansas farmers.

The rice crop is just now starting to be harvested. What is the crop looking like?

Riding along in the combine with David Hodges on his farm just East of Jonesboro it was hard to tell the rice had been beaten up.

It seemed like the bin filled about every other pass. But there were places where winds had knocked it down.

Hodges says he had high hopes for this field in fact he thought this would be the best one that he had but the hail on Sunday, cost him.

Hodges, "That hail storm Sunday got it down to where it's one of the worst ones. Maybe six thousand off of 8 thousand. 2 thousand less bushels at 6 dollars a bushel that's 12 thousand dollars just on this field."

Even with the late planting of rice due to weather, yields are expected to be up or at least be as good as last year.

Hodges rice field near Farville is still a little muddy after 2 1/2 inches of rain this weekend.

Extension agent Branon Theisse says early rice had it tough.

"Some went under water, cool temperatures and it just had a really hard time coming up."

Then a stretch of dry weather when many farmers replanted.

Theisse, "You know we've got two seperate crops right now."

Hodges, "The crops just late with all that wet weather this Spring and this cool Summer we've had it's really behind what's normal."

In spite of the weather so far the yields are looking pretty good.

Theisse, "I don't think it's gonna be by any means a bumper crop but it's gonna be an adequate crop for this year. "

As the fall weather approaches farmers who only have 1 combine may be pushed to get everything in.

Hodges, "We always cut corn before we do rice but this time it's not been the case, it's been late too."

He had tried to pick corn last week but it was still too green so they had to give up.

Theisse, "Usually by the time the middle of October rolls around we like to have all our rice out because the soybeans will start coming in and begin that harvest."

Hodges says it's still to early to call the fall harvest successful or not. But overall...

"Overall it hasn't been to bad of a year I guess if you could take out the wet Spring, it really gave us fits."

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