Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 26 Rice Crop Condition

The weather this spring has allowed rice to be planted across most of the state at record pace. As of April 25, farmers had planted an estimated 81% of the rice acreage. This compares to only 53% last week and only 42% this time last year. It is also well ahead of the 5-year average of 53% for this week. The USDA estimates that 43% of the rice acreage has emerged. This compares to 10% last year at this time and and 19% for the 5-year average. We have more rice emerged this week than we had planted in 2009. We have 80% of the rice planted prior to April 25 and with another good week, we are likely to be 95% complete before the first of May. Our planting progress is 2 weeks ahead of the 5-year average and a month ahead of last year.

Getting the crop planted early is certainly good for production. However, with nearly a million acres planted in a 2-week window, harvest is certainly going to be interesting. We are set up for an excellent crop, assuming the summer and fall weather are not too unkind.
Average temperatures were near normal ranging from 3 degrees below normal at Booneville to 9 degrees above normal at West Memphis for the week ending April 25. Low temperatures ranged from 36 degrees at Calico Rock to a high of 88 degrees at West Memphis. Rainfall for the week ending April 25 ranged from a low of 0.3 inches at Brinkley to a high of 4.4 inches at Batesville. Overall, soil moisture supplies were 1% very short, 17% short, 67% adequate, and 15% surplus.

The USDA planting intentions report that was released at the end of March shows that rice acreage is expected to increase by 10% from 2009. The anticipated acreage of 1.631 million acres is the largest acreage since 2005 when we planted an estimated record 1.635 million acres. Medium grain rice for Arkansas is estimated at 200,000 acres, a decrease of 60,000 acres from 2009.

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