Record Yields for Rice in Region 8 - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Craighead County -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Record Yields for Rice in Region 8

September 21, 2004 – Posted at 4:31 p.m.

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY -- Rice is big business in Region 8 and the harvest is in full swing already. Farmer Robert Box said good weather is helping to produce near record yields on his land.

“It's been a great year and it's getting better,” said Box. The harvest is here, and the trucks are lined up at Riceland in Jonesboro.

Riceland Manager Freddie Gahr said, “This year, with the combination of good crops coming off, good field yields, dry weather and the technology of all the new machines out here that the farmers have to cut the crop, it's just forcing a lot of rice, real quick into the elevators.”

So much so that Riceland had to shut down over the weekend just to catch up.

“We set a record of 463,000 bushels in one day. We turned around the next day and broke that record at 489,000 and then we broke it the very next day at 508,000 bushels in one day,” said Gahr as trucks lined up to dump their loads.

“The rice harvest was just great, in fact we had record yields on every field,” said Box.

“We've heard some as high as 180, some fields cutting over 200 bushels, which is phenomenal when you get that kind of yield,” said Craighead County Extension agent Steve Culp, “That's a lot of grain.”

So why is rice doing so well this year? The last three weeks have been pretty dry in Region 8 and that's part of the reason the crops have done good. Culp says this could be an indicator of what's yet to come.

“We've been having some real good soybean yields and they are continuing to be good. Cotton is just starting, but most of the cotton looks real good, so we're pretty optimistic,” said Culp.

And it was really the possibility of bad weather that made farmers get a move on.

“The hurricane threats the last couple of weeks really put an issue to the farmers to get in the field and cut,” said Gahr.

A spokesperson for Riceland foods says that so far almost 60% of all the rice in Region 8 has been harvested.

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