Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 5 Rice Crop Condition and Progress

As of August 2, the USDA reports that 74% of the crop is heading and a couple of fields have been harvested. This compares to 57% heading last week, 28% this time last year, and a 5-year average of 39% for this week. Arkansas rice does not normally begin heading in June nor is it normally harvested in July. The first rice harvested in Arkansas that I am aware of was on July 30. Harvest has begun in some areas this week and will get going strong in about 2 weeks. As of August 2, 18% of the crop is reported to be in excellent condition, 44% good, 31% fair, 6% poor, and 1% very poor.

Average temperatures for the week ending August 2 ranged from 0 to 5 degrees above normal. The temperatures ranged from a low of 68 degrees at Gilbert and Calico Rock to a high of 104 degrees in Camden, with several locations exceeding 100 degrees. Rainfall for the week ending August 2 ranged from none at several locations to a high of 3.2 inches at Hot Springs. Overall, soil moisture supplies were 13% very short, 56% short, 29% adequate, and 2% surplus. The extended heat and dry weather have caused a significant strain on the irrigation capacity across the Delta. Rice fields have spots (some large, some small) that are burning because the well is unable to keep up with the dry weather. Officially, most of Eastern and Southern Arkansas is “moderate drought”, parts of Southeast Arkansas is in “Severe drought”.

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