Flooding Swamps Part of Farming Rice in Northeast Arkansas' "Bottomlands"

APRIL 28, 2004 - Posted at 2:52 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Plenty of rice farmers in northeast Arkansas have some anxious days ahead.  They're waiting to see if recent floods will claim their crops.

Jeff Branson, a rice expert with the Cooperative Extension Service, said most growers will know within a week or two whether they'll have to replant.  He was in Jackson County today.  He said flood waters have begun to recede, but rice growers along the Black River will have to wait a while before they'll be able to see all of their fields.  He said with the White River flooded, the Black River has no where to go.

About half of the state's rice crop have been planted.  In flooded areas, rice that had already emerged may be able to survive the floodwaters.  He said that growers with rice that already emerged should know within a week after the waters go down whether the crop will survive.

Branson said those plants that made it through the flood will come up within two weeks, and the just-planted rice that has water standing over it for more than a week would probably have to be replanted.