Record Rice Yield Possible in Arkansas

AUGUST 22, 2003 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- If conditions hold, this year's Arkansas rice crop is on track to deliver a record per-acre yield, and prices have been climbing.

Rice experts say sunshine, rain and temperatures in the state have combined for near perfect rice-growing conditions.

Worldwide, other crops are not fairing as well, so the rice supply is declining and prices are rising.

Cooperative Extension Service rice expert Chuck Wilson says the value of this year's harvest could be more than twice as much as what was harvested in 2002.  He says this year's crop could be worth $741 million, compared to last year's $348 million.  Yield is projected at 6,450 pounds of rice per acre, ten pounds more than last year's record crop.

Prices are about $8 per hundredweight, compared to $3.60 one year ago.

Arkansas planted 1.4 million acres of rice this year.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.