Good Year for Rice

November 14, 2003  -- Posted at 8:52 AM CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR --Most Arkansas rice farmers are pleased with this year's crop, which produced a record yield in a year when prices were also higher than they had been for five years.

The average yield per acre in Arkansas this year was 66-hundred pounds, while cash prices were just below seven dollars per one-hundred pounds, and futures prices were near eight dollars.

That price level hadn't been seen since 1998, when the average yield per acre in Arkansas was 58-hundred pounds.

Chuck Wilson of the Cooperatove Extension Service says this was one of the few years the state saw high yields and high prices at the same time.

He said the high yield this year resulted from a mild summer growing season, relatively few insect and disease problems, and a strong performance from the Wells hybrid rice variety, which accounted for nearly half the state's crop.

Arkansas grows more rice than any other state, accounting for about 46 percent of this year's expected crop.

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