Rice Farming Update

Wharton County Summer Rice Harvest Update Rice Farming Update

Combines and pickers are running at full speed once again. The rains of early August slowed or stopped the rice harvest for several days. I have been in the rice drying for many seasons. Most have been fairly similar. During the late 1960’s through the 1980’s, rice harvest started during the last week of June and ran through middle of September. The early second crop or ratoon crop would start late September and last until the middle of December. Late maturing semi-dwarf varieties changed that dynamic with the harvest dates starting in mid-July. Current varieties are late maturing and high yielding with rice harvest dates normally starting in late July. Second or ratoon crop will start in mid-October.

This year has been unusual, rice harvest started July 14 th . The peak of the rice harvest occurred the first week of August which is at least a week earlier than the average of the last several seasons. Then the rains came delaying the harvest for at least 5 days. This past weekend we unloaded a total of 5 trucks or 2,700 cwt. In a normal year, we would receive an average of 30,000 cwt. per day in the middle of August. As of this morning we are 65% into the rice harvest. If the weather holds by the end of next week harvest should be at the 95% level. That will be the earliest date that I can remember that rice harvest reached that level of completion. We expect that only one field to be left by the end of August.

The rice market moved up for a short period of time. Gulf Rice Mill and Riviana were offering $6.00 premiums late last week and early this week. Gulf Rice’s offer was sight unseen and Riviana’s bid was contingent on seeing a dry sample. RMA had a sale today with Gulf and Riviana bidding $5.50 premium and all other mills passing. Rusty Bergstrom reports that Riviana may still offer $6.00 premium for non- hybrids with a sample.

As for as yields, through yesterday the coop has received 2,968 acres with a wet average of 77.88 cwt. per acre and a dry average of 71.49 cwt. Listed below are the high, low and average wet yield in cwts. for each variety that the coop has received thus far;

Variety AcresHighest Yield Per AcreLowest Yield Per AcreAverage Price Per Acre
RT 7231129.610.5546.40 (Suspect Herbicide Damage)81.86
RT 753231.980.0663.3764.04
RT 7609397.10 (only one field)97.1
RT 73119094.33 (only one field)94.33
CL 15232896.2967.1284.74

More statistics to confuse you. The chart below is for wet and dry yields in cwts. per acre for the past five years. The 2012 crop we received 1,968 acres of RiceTec Long Grain or 35.4%. I have included the total acres and the acres excluding the RiceTec Long Grain for 2012.

YearAverage Wet Cwt. Per AcreAverage Dry Cwt. Per Acre
Less RT LG82.4474.92

As for as the other area crops, the talk on the street is that yields are above average to excellent. There is talk of cotton yielding anywhere from 2.5 bales to 4.5 bales to the acres. Soybeans at 60 to 70 bushels to the acre with some rumors of 100 bushels. The corn and milo yields were bin busters.

Time for a little advertising. Most of you know that we offer a full line of tires at our El Campo and Bay City location. We stock and have available in 24 hours most tires including implement, front tractor tires, and rear tractor tires. In rear tractor and front wheel assist tires, we offer Firestone, Goodyear, Mitas, Coulter, Michelin, BKT, and other brands with fair prices. We have two service trucks in El Campo and one in Bay City. We try to provide good and timely service. We offer on-the- farm tire service on weekends by calling our regular telephone numbers. If one of our employees do not answer, our answering service will contact us.

Have a safe remainder of the harvest and summer. Remember to hug your loved ones and friends. You never know when it might be the last time that happens. Football and hunting seasons are around the corner!

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