Yield reports are something to smile about so far. South Arkansas is really getting into the swing of things and action is also picking up on the Grand Prairie. The majority of yields show some improvement over last year’s results and there are some big numbers out there. A lot of yields in the 180-210 bu/acre range, with some touching 230 and 240 (all dry bu/acre).
The tale of two crops has yet to be told, though, with only a handful of confirmed harvest reports in north Arkansas. Those sound very good so far, but we have yet to move into the areas most affected by early-season flooding and levee loss. There is also a significant amount of weedy rice and grass escapes that may have brought yields down and are beginning to cause lodging.
Wind mixed with a little rain from the remnants of Harvey next week could be a very bad recipe considering the majority of the rice crop remains in the field. Even if rainfall amounts are minimal, if they’re riding on a strong wind they can create the push needed to start the domino effect of lodging.
Then it becomes a race against time to preserve yield and quality.
This coming week a number of on-farm research trials will be harvested that should also help to begin painting a better picture of the year and what expectations may be. That preliminary data will be shared as it becomes available.