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May 2024

How the rain has affected rice farmers

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – Some farmers have already put the seed in the ground and sprayed certain chemicals on their crops.

Most chemicals that are sprayed early on the life cycle of the rice crop need either rain or flush.

Flushing will cost rice farmers more money so if the chemicals can be activated by rainfall, it is a plus for those farmers.

“The chemicals must be activated by rainfall or a flush but no one wants to flush this early in the season. Anytime we can get our chemicals out before rainfall and get it activated is a plus,” said Branon Thiesse a Craighead County extension agent.

With not enough rain, farmers find themselves having to pump to keep the ground moist. Too much and the crops could flood.

Crop consultant Tyler Hydrick said there is a sweet spot when it comes to rainfall.

“We are kind of in a sweet spot right now where we just need an inch and we don’t need six inches and we don’t need a tenth of an inch,” said Hydrick.

Rice seeds are tolerable to the environment. Most farmers are using hybrid seeds, but those are hard to come by this planting season.

“When they make hybrid seeds the seeds sometimes don’t make and this year was a pretty unsuccessful hybrid year,” said Hydrick.

Rice farmers could make a couple more bucks with how this season’s prices are shaping up. Hydrick said this leads to higher demand for a product that just isn’t there.

“With that being the case, you have an increase in rice acres and a lower seed production and that leads to a seed shortage,” said Hydrick. QR Code

Published Date: April 12, 2024

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