Rice Farming Update

Summer is Here, Bringing Hurricane Season Rice Farming Update

It is hard to believe that today is the third day of summer. The last few mornings have not felt like summer. Of course, by the afternoon with the heat index over 100 degrees, realization sets in. Days are getting shorter and cool weather is 90 to 100 days away.

The local rice market is nonexistent at this time. All of the 2016 crop is sold. All of the area drying facilities are waiting to ship what is left in storage. There has been some good news concerning the potential of more exports. Iraq has extended their Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the United States through January 2018. This is good news considering that Iraq purchased 30,000 metric tons a few weeks ago. The other bright spot is Columbia has removed the restriction from U. S. paddy rice to the Port of Barranquilla. The restriction was only for that port in Columbia. In the past few years, Columbia has gone from 51st on our export list to the top 15. Last year, they imported 140,000 metric tons of U.S. rice with over 40% of that being paddy rice.

There are some reports of corn being shelled in the area. Early milo is getting close. Most of the other row crops and pastures are in need of some moisture. Majority of the rice is starting to head with some of the early rice fully headed. Several farmers have commented what a large percentage of the rice head is blooming at one time and how consistent across the field. One farmer stated that he had to stop and walk out into the field for the fear that something was going wrong. The rice looked white because of the magnitude of white blooms. Another stated that he could actually see the yellow pollen floating around the field. Hopefully, our optimism will develop into good yields.

Heard from Darby Hoffman that he observed a group of river otters west of Nada near one of his fields last year.

Weather Update from Jeff Lindner, Director Hydrologic Operations Division/Meteorologist, Harris County Flood Control District
Courtesy of Dan Bradshaw:

Heavy rainfall possible Sat-Mon

TS Cindy has weakened into a tropical depression over the mid MS Valley this morning however a moist southerly feed on the southern side of the circulation continues to bring deep tropical moisture into the region. Morning dewpoints in the staggering low 80’s have been common along the coastal areas of SW LA and extreme SE TX. Not expecting much of this moisture to mix out today and as surface temperatures rise into the lower 90’s heat index values will increase into the mid 100’s. A heat advisory has been issued for our western counties until this evening.

This weekend a weak cold front will approach and stall across the area interacting with the deep moisture in place. PWS will remain in the 2.0-2.3 inches range as moisture from Cindy and arriving moisture from ex tropical storm Bret pushes into the western Gulf of Mexico. Overall storm motions look slow at less than 10kts and will likely be strongly tied to outflow boundary collisions. Potential for decent development of storms north of the region around midday Saturday along the sagging frontal boundary and then along the northward moving seabreeze. Potential is for these two boundaries ours and their thunderstorms to collide at some point between US 59 and HWY 105 Saturday afternoon or evening.

Moisture remains very high into Sunday and Monday and expect additional daily rounds of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. Frontal system will gradually dissipate with the focus being along the inland moving seabreeze each afternoon. Mid level heights do not begin to rise until about Tuesday and that should begin to reduce rain chances.

Pattern ahead will be highly convective with potential for isolated locations to receive several inches of rainfall in a short period of time and nearby locations get nothing. Deep saturated column and high moisture levels will support very high short term rainfall rates of 2-4 inches in an hour. Street flooding will be the main concern with this type of rainfall rate.

The Rice Farmers Coop lost two former employees over the last few days.

Carl Priesmeyer passed away Wednesday. Carl managed the coop’s fertilizer division from 1970’s into 1980’s. I had the great pleasure of working for and with Carl all of those years. He was a great mentor for me in my early days at the coop.

Carl’s services: Visitation will begin 1:00 pm Sunday, June 25, 2017, at St. Philip Catholic Church with a KC Rosary being recited at 2:30 pm. Following the Rosary service, visitation will continue at Triska Funeral Home from 4 pm to 6 pm. The Funeral Mass will be 10 am Monday, June 26, 2017, at St. Philip Church with Reverend Michael Rother officiating. Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Memorial Park.

Tom Morrison passed away last week. Tom worked for the coop’s tire division as a service writer. Tom was well educated and just wanted to work. He was a great employee that treated fellow employees and customers with the greatest of respect. He retired and lived on his family’s place on Sandy Creek. Tom was probably the most intelligent employee that ever worked at the coop. Services for Tom will be at a later date.

Please keep the Priesmeyer and Morrison families in your prayers.

Thanks and have a great and blessed weekend,
Bob Little

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