By AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Rice harvest has started in the coastal belt of Louisiana and Texas. As of last Friday, less than 1% of the Texas crop had been harvested, according to the state's latest weekly rice crop survey report. Only a handful of fields have been cut in Louisiana.
Some draining is at hand in the very earliest fields in the Midsouth.
Intense heat remains a concern in the Delta states. Conditions for disease development are in place across much of the region.
LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:
"Northeast Louisiana has received rain this week, with 3 inches in places. The bulk of that part of the crop is in late boot to early heading.
"The thing that's concerning is the amount of heat that's developed as those fields begin to head and flower. Typically, we like to see nighttime lows drop below 75. If it's much higher than that for any period, you risk a lot of blanking due to missed pollination and more broken and chalky grain.
"The weather forecast doesn't look good. In places in northeast Louisiana, the forecast going into the weekend puts highs into the triple digits and nighttime lows at 75 to 80. We didn't have that problem in southwest Louisiana – no extremes along those lines during heading and flowering.
"So far, I've only heard of two fields being harvested – one hybrid, the other a variety – and both went over 50 barrels/acre. Those are probably the very earliest fields. The bulk of the crop down here is being drained and it probably will be 2 weeks before cutting starts on a wide basis."