Rice farmers may have a better year

More Rice in 2016
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Cooperative Extension Service predicts rice farmers will have a better year than last.

Extension agents say there are two factors that will make this a better year for rice.

The first factor is that farmers will be able to plant more acres of rice land.

"We were a little under 1.5 million acres last year and this year we are looking at maybe 1.6 million or even beyond that," Craighead County Agriculture Staff Chair Brandon Thiesse said.

Thiesse said last year's acres were down due to the flooding in Northeast Arkansas.

"They were just not able to get the water off in a timely fashion because if we can't get the rice planted by the end of May, we just don't need to be planting it because it never does turn out too well," Thiesse said.

Thiesse said the weather has been better so far this year for rice farmers and the second factor is the price for rice is better too.

"Several rice acres last year were unable to be planted because of flood waters so hopefully this year those will be able to be planted," Thiesse said. "Also the price is much better."

Thiesse said last year was a bad year for rice farmers, but he is hopeful for 2016.

"Hopefully they can all make some money," Thiesse said. "We lost some farmers last year because of prices and hopefully this year they will have a much better year."

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