Cooler Weather Slowing Arkansas Rice Development

Aug 14, 2013

Credit Mickey Liaw /

Arkansas agriculture officials say the cool weather this summer is slowing development of the rice crop and will delay the harvest.

Last year, growers planted early and were already harvesting at this time.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Rice Research Center Director Chuck Wilson said Wednesday that the harvest won't likely begin until September.

This year's crop went in late, and the cooler temperatures are making rice plants take longer to mature.

Growers have experienced a variety of conditions across the fertile east Arkansas rice-growing territory.

In the southeast, growers have coped with dry conditions and increased input costs from having to run their irrigation pumps.

In the northeast, some fields couldn't be planted because they didn't' dry out enough. Flooding has hurt some northeast Arkansas growers.