By admin       2018-02-23

Arkansas growers planted 620,000 acres of corn in 2017, a 140,000 acre drop from 2016. Despite the spring flooding, the state’s corn had a good year overall, Kelley said. The relatively mild summer and above-average rainfall helped increase yields to 183 bu/ac, the third highest average yield in the state. Finally, 2017 was something of a mixed bag for the country’s No. 1 rice producing state. After heavy flooding in April and May reduced harvestable acreage to about 1.1 million acres — a 27 percent drop from 2016 — average yield actually rose by 570 pounds to 7,490 pounds per acre. Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the Division of Agriculture, said rice growers in the state ended up with the third-highest yield average on record. “If you didn’t lose a lot of acres to flooding, you actually came out ahead,” Hardke said. “A lot of levees had to be re-pulled, and we lost any rice that was planted on them. Ultimately, 2017 was very much a ‘think outside the box’ year for Arkansas rice growers.” Hardke said that 2018 is likely to prove tempting for ambitious Arkansas rice growers, with likely plantings of 1.5 million acres in rice. “We’re definitely looking at a tremendous rebound year in terms of overall acres,” he said. “The biggest part of that jump are the long-grain acres , that, in theory, are going to go from 950,000 acres all the way up to 1.25 million. But medium grain is also going to make a big jump from 150,000 acres to about 250,000 acres.” He said that overall rice acreage may decrease from that prediction slightly, however, if soybean prices continue to climb, offering a more profitable alternative to rice. “But we’re in line for an upswing year, no matter what,” he said.

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