US. Farmers hope heat brings good rice crop


The heat is a problem for everything in Arkansas summers. From the bills to our health, the heat can take a toll in more ways than we can imagine.

For rice though sometimes heat can be a blessing in disguise. Jarrod Hardke, a rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas' Division of Agriculter says, "while everyone's not really enjoying the heat, this a return to normal."

Arkansas is the number one producer of rice in the entire country. We produce about 50% of all rice in the United States. This is why watching the rice crop in the summer is key to its success.

"It looks like most of the crop will escape the daytime highs that effect yield directly and cause blank kernels," says Hardke, "but these nighttime temperatures may effect the quality and it's possible to lead to subsequently lower prices if that does actually happen."

 Hardke suggest a good night low for rice should be 75 degrees or lower. This summer temperatures have been slightly above that. Some parts of Arkansas are seeing above average rainfall but some of the Delta areas like Lonoke are staying on the drier side.

"Once we get into these situations it gets very difficult to maintain those moisture levels in the field," says Hardke.

The summer is nearly over, but there's still a path of uncertainty. In 2010, an usually hot year produced a poor quality of rice but in 2012 the milder weather increase quality and yield.


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