Hot temperatures are impacting rice farmers
Some farmers and agriculture experts say scorching temperatures and drought are causing a strain on rice production.
Some farmers in Vermilion Parish are feeling the heat and the pinch from hot temperatures.
Christian Richard, Owner of Richard Farms said it hasn’t rained in nearly three months and Mother Nature is costing him a pretty penny.
“We’ve had water wells pumping that haven’t stopped pumping for two and a half, three months,” Richard said. “So, when we drain the fields, we were able to have a good harvest, a dry harvest.”
Richard said the weather right now is nothing like it was last year, so he has to come up with solutions to combat the drought.
“We were able to battle all of the mud or the elements and it’s totally opposite of what happened last year during the rice harvest,” Richard said. “It rained every, day, but now, we’re back to flooding the fields again to try and make the second crop [of rice].”
Michael Deliberto, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness said rice requires a certain amount of moisture in order to grow abundantly.
“A cool, seed bed with adequate soil moisture will let that seed get in the ground and have successful germination,” Deliberto said. “But, having enough residual moisture left in the soil so it can establish a good root for the plant to develop, throughout the growing season [is ideal].”
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), heat stress can be harmful to the quality of rice production.
The NIH reports water supply, crop transpiration and soil moisture all impact humidity levels.
If the drought across the state continues, Richard said consumers may be spending more money on rice over the next few months.
Published Date: August 17, 2023