Local & Regional News
3:00 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Arkansas's Largest Crops Off to a Slow Start

Credit arkansasagnews.uark.edu

Fields around parts of Arkansas are inundated with water from some relatively rainy months and the result is some major crops aren’t getting in the ground as early as most would like. The Arkansas Farm Bureau’s Director of Market Information and Economics Matt King said conditions on the ground may prompt some farmers to make adjustments.

“This late start’s a very big headache for producers, may cause some switches in what they would like to plant. A lot of producers would like to grow more rice this year, we saw those numbers up almost a half million acres, but there’s a smaller window to get that planted so we may some producers that are unable to get it in the field,” said King.

But King said a late start to planting doesn’t necessarily mean a bad harvest.

“Earlier planted crops typically do better but we’ve seen last year, we were a little later planting than what we had been in the past, and saw record yields,” said King.

Although it’s far from an ideal start for crops like corn and rice King said good conditions this summer could erase much, if not all, of any potential losses incurred due to delay. The slow start is troublesome but King said extreme heat in the summer is a bigger concern for farmers than rain saturated fields in March.