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Rice farmers play catch-up after heavy rainfall causes damage

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 10:33 PM CDT
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GREENE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - After the rainfall, we saw Monday and the damage leftover from flooding two weeks ago, that has many rice farmers hard at work trying to salvage their crops. There are a few ways you can manage your rice after a flood loss.

Farmer Shane Eason says all of the rainfall has taken a hit to his field. He’s not sure yet how much damage there is.

“We’ve not been able to get it finished. I’m still trying to put in spills and fertilize it, and we just got another big rain yesterday because we were going to get it done this week, and the rain has been really relentless,” said Eason.

Shane’s farm was completely underwater two weeks ago. Though the water has gone down, he says it’s hard to play catchup.

“You can tell behind me it’s somewhat yellow. It needs to be fertilized. When it gets this wet, we try to mud it in. We get down with the backhoe and try to do the best we can,” said Eason.

Shane isn’t sure how much the damage will set him back.

“The river gets out really bad right here so I could get all this fixed up and beautiful and ready to go and then have another big flood towards the end of the year and ruin everything, so it’s hard to estimate what we’ve lost,” said Eason.

Jarrod Hardkee, a rice extension agronomist, has advice. He says a common misconception is that after flooding, fertilizer washes away, which is not true.

“The biggest advice is to get things repaired, get the crop moved along, don’t make any additional inputs to the crop in terms of fertilizer or weed control right now,” said Hardkee. “We need to get the crop back flooded, where we need to, and address those concerns down the road.”

Hardkee says that will save you money by keeping you from buying extra fertilizer you don’t need. He adds every case is different. For a full list of farming tips and tricks to save your crop after the rain, click here.

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