Feature

With little early planting, COVID-19 impacts on Arkansas rice remain unknown

saturated fields

• By Ryan McGeeney • Finally, some rice is in the ground. Barely. Jarrod Hardke, Extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said Thursday that a handful of growers began water-seeding rice, a technique that typically accounts for about 5% of all rice acreage in the state. “That’s the very first rice planted in Arkansas ... Read More »

Saturated soils in Missouri set the stage for spring flooding

flood outlook map

The stage is set for more spring flooding in Missouri, said University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan. “A lot will depend on the weather patterns that set up over the region in the next few weeks,” he said. Missouri farmers, still reeling from 2019 weather woes, face a greater than 50% chance of moderate flooding on mainstream rivers and ... Read More »

Louisiana farmers begin planting amid uncertain prices

michael fruge unloads grain

• By Bruce Schultz • Planting is underway or about to start for most crops in Louisiana, and farmers are watching the markets closely as the world economy reels from the fallout created by the novel coronavirus. Louisiana State University AgCenter economist Michael Deliberto said commodities are looking better this week, and the stock market has improved. But uncertainty from ... Read More »

Use the DD50 rice management program to stay ahead in 2020

emerged rice

• By Jarrod Hardke • Each year, I’m surprised at the number of producers not currently using the DD50 Rice Management Program on their farms. This program is designed to take much of the guesswork out of in-season management for producers and consultants. In general, projected dates of key timings are accurate within a couple of days throughout the season. ... Read More »

Research tests how California rice fields can benefit fish

retrieving juvenile salmon

• By Ching Lee • Winter-flooded rice fields already provide essential habitat for migratory birds, but could they also provide benefits to help the state’s salmon populations? Scientists at the University of California, Davis, are finalizing their fieldwork on an experiment to find out what management practices farmers might adopt in their fields to maximize fish survival. At River Garden ... Read More »

Louisiana governor issues ‘stay at home’ order

rice tillage

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay at home order beginning at 5 p.m., Monday, March 23, for non-essential workers and businesses to stem the spread of coronavirus. Louisiana will join California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Delaware and Connecticut that already have stay at home orders, sometimes referred to as shelter in place orders. The order ... Read More »

Louisiana’s rice crop gets going

• By Kane Webb • While things have slowed down across the country because of COVID-19, the past week and a half were busy for rice farmers in southwest Louisiana. Planting is underway and moving quickly, according to Dr. Dustin Harrell, rice specialist with the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station in Crowley. “A lot of rice has been water seeded, ... Read More »

Crawfish glut hits the market as restaurants close, switch to takeout

crawfish

With a glut of crawfish on the market, prices are dropping, and consumers might be interested in boiling and freezing crawfish at home. Many restaurants have closed or switched to takeout- and drive-through-only operations amid concerns about spreading the novel coronavirus. That means restaurants aren’t buying nearly as much crawfish as they usually do. Evelyn Watts, Louisiana State University AgCenter ... Read More »

COVID-19 doesn’t stop planting season

christian richard

• By Bruce Schultz • Many  schools and workplaces have  closed up shop amid the coronavirus pandemic. But in the world of agriculture,  the show must go on. In Louisiana, this  is rice and corn  planting season —  a busy and important time of year for farmers, who also will soon begin planting other crops  such as  soybeans  and  cotton. ... Read More »