Harvesting before the rain

Harvesting before the rain

CROSS COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - There is a narrow window for farmers to get their crops out of the ground before the rain moves in Thursday evening so farmers were out Wednesday in the combines working to get their crops cut.

Will Nicholson in Cross county was one of those farmers and said this year is a big year for rice.

Nicholson said, "This years rice crops is supposed to be one of the biggest rice crops on record they say, because we have more rice planted here in the state of Arkansas than ever before."

Nicholson said that a lot of rice has already been cut but that is mainly smaller varieties and the types being cut now are different. 

Nicholson said, "your rolly J's and your Jupiter, you know your medium Jupiters those are longer, maturing varieties. That's what we have left, mainly what everybody is harvesting now."

Nicholson said that even though he has finished a lot of his work, he still has a little ways to go and he said now is the time he needs to get it done.

Nicholson said if he waits much longer it could cause problems for him because of the chance for heavy rains and winds on Thursday night into Friday morning causing the rice to get heavier and with rain and wind combined that could cause the rice to lay over, which could be a big issue.

Nicholson said, "Once it lodges it takes longer to pick it up and it's a slower harvest process and a more costly process."

But the problems don't stop at it taking longer to harvest, said Nicholson.

Nicholson said, "If it hits the ground you can lose anywhere from 10 to 15 bushels an acre, just because you're not able to reach down and pull it up.  Plus the fact of instead of going 2.2 miles per hour your combines actually driving .5 mile per hour, so you're spending more time on the machine, more diesel trying to pick it up."

Nicholson said that since rice is at its prime and everyone is cutting it has truck lines at production stations backed way up, slowing down the harvest.  He also included that if farmers run into problems with their equipment it could cause a big stall since mechanics are busy keeping things going throughout the area.

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