Early Harvest - How's the Rice?

August 17, 2007 -- Posted at 3:45 p.m. CST

Brookland, AR --

Labor day is usually the rule of thumb but the rice harvest has already started.

"We cut one load yesterday, we did a test load on the 15th and delivered it to Riceland on the 16th."

Terry grimes says this rice crop has made it through the cold snap and the heat wave, making the harvest two weeks early.

"Basically this was early planted and it's coming out early. Like I said this warm hot weather is making it ripen a lot sooner."

And like all other farmers he's been praying for rain, but too much might mean trouble.

"We're already dry and we need a rain but boy we don't need a hurricane to come up here during this crop it's a good rice crop. Every grain filled out on that stalk, we aren't seeing many blanks, we have very few blanks on the stalk and its a real good test weight."

And that's how he knows it's doing ok.

"The rice really seems to be doing good, we've got lodging issues in this field, the rice, that means the rice is already going down."

Grimes says although it's two weeks early, it's a good thing they're cutting now.

"That way we can get closure for this year and start getting ready for next year making it easier to get ready for next years crop."

Many farmers were concerned about prices of grain this year, some decided on a different crop like corn.

"But right now rice seems to be steady but it sure stand to go up, we've got a tremendous amount of money in this crop with fertilizer and fuel being like it is this year."

A hard hit many farmers are feeling as the harvest season begins.

- For grain prices and other ag related stories try this website.