Local 2017 rice harvest is slow to start. We thought there would be several producers harvesting by this weekend. At this time, we have only one producer that will be cutting. This particular producer is harvesting 723 and 753 that was planted between March 22 and March 24. The others will start between Sunday and Wednesday. Those varieties are CL 153, Presidio and Mermemtau. Rice harvest will be in full swing by the end of the next week and pretty much over by the last week in August.
Louisiana continues to struggle with rains. Normally, our neighbors to the east would be in full swing by now. Yield reports from that area are spotty and average at best. The Arkansas crop is heading at this time. The weather has somewhat stabilized throughout the state. There are concerns about the yields due to the lack of sunlight hours in some areas. Producers were asking if the current sunny weather will help the crop recover. Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist; “The answer is no. I’m trying to be realistic.” Most of the rice plants that lack from sunlight will put out longer than normal leaves to try to take in more sunlight, but this does not increase panicle length. Mr. Hardke estimates that the statewide yield will be in the 150 bushel range or 6,750 lbs. (42 bbls.). I sure wish the guys in Arkansas would talk in lbs. or hundred weight.
Row crop harvest in this area is picking up. The showers are creating a problem for some. There are some yield reports that are fantastic; milo over 8,000 lbs. and corn over 190 bushels. Remember that the lower yields are not often reported. The longer lines at the dryer and lack of trucks normally confirm higher yields. The corn and milo harvest is later than normal with both coming off pretty much at the same time. If the weather holds both crops will be close to complete in the next seven days or so.
May you be blessed with a safe, prosperous, and uneventful 2017 rice harvest,