The 5-year average for rice planting progress is 34% at this point in the season, but we are only at 19% this year. It’s worth noting that we were at 67% in 2017 and 17% in 2014.
It’s difficult to know what the rest of the year holds for us just based on planting progress. One thing that seems likely is the progress for this week will essentially be a flat line. A few fields were planted over the last day or two, but very few.
If the current forecast of more rain next Wednesday through Saturday holds true, we’ll see another flat line for a week. Should that happen, we’ll only be ahead of 2008 for the years included in Fig. 1. That’s pretty daunting.
We all know we can catch up in a hurry once given the opportunity. We just need that opportunity.
Through the middle of May, we can still achieve over 90% of our optimal yield potential, depending on the year. Planting date data at Pine Tree in 2018 showed the latter part of April and early May to have the highest yields – hopefully this holds true again for north Arkansas.