Rain Good for New Rice Crop

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR -- The rain the past few days might have been an annoyance to you, but to rice farmers in Region 8, they are calling it a blessing.

With the majority of Joe Christian's rice crop already planted, this week's rain is a definite plus. With at least an inch of rainfall this week in most areas of Region 8, rice farmers say this is perfect timing.

"This rain has been beneficial to us. We've had about an inch and a half and we've had enough we can move on and start planting some soybeans now as soon as it dries up," says Christian.

Christian says this field was planted last week and was in major need of a rain to give it a go.

"The rice germinated and the ground got hard and crusted. This rain this past week has kind of broke that crust up and made is soft again where the rice will push on out of the ground," says Christian.

Branon Thiesse with the Craighead County Extension Service says most areas got just the right amount.

"Chemical activation and just allowing the rice to emerge are the two benefits we're getting from it right now, but we can have too much of a good thing," says Thiesse.

A good thing that rice farmers hope stops here.

"Now, there's rain in the forecast for next week and the longer we wait to be able to put out our pesticides, then the weeds and what not will be getting bigger and harder to kill," says Thiesse.

"You can have too much or too little. We're always pretty picky about the kind of rains we need you know, but this has been a blessing for us to have a rain like this," says Christian.

Most rice fields now need their pesticide application, but until the fields are dry and surface water is removed, that's going to be on hold.