Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 6 Rice Crop Conditions

CROP CONDITION AND STATUS – The weather this spring has allowed rice to be planted across most of the state at record pace. As of May 2, farmers had planted an estimated 90% of the rice acreage. This compares to 81% last week and only 60% this time last year. It is also well ahead of the 5-year average of 70% for this week. The USDA estimates that 61% of the rice acreage has emerged. This compares to 27% last year at this time and 39% for the 5-year average. Our planting progress is 2-3 weeks ahead of the 5-year average and a month ahead of last year. As of May 2, 16% of the crop is reported to be in excellent condition, 45% good, 35% fair, and 4% poor.

Severe storms and rainfall pounded the rice-growing region of Arkansas over the weekend. Rainfall over the weekend ranged from as little as 0.25 inches in Southeast Arkansas to as much as 11 inches in parts of Northeast Arkansas. Levees are washed out and floods are as much as 8-10 feet deep in some fields in river bottom lowlands. Time will tell the impact this has on the crop and the need for re-planting.

Average temperatures were near normal ranging from 5 degrees below normal at Booneville to 2 degrees above normal at several locations for the week ending May 2. Low temperatures ranged from 35 degrees at Fayetteville to a high of 89 degrees at Camden and El Dorado. Rainfall for the week ending May 2 ranged from a low of 0.1 inches at Fort Smith to a high of 8.4 inches at West Memphis. Overall, soil moisture supplies were 7% short, 69% adequate, and 24% 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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