JONESBORO — While spring floods left many rice farmers with fewer acres of rice than they originally planned, they’re hopeful a rising market can offset at least some of the lost acreage.
“We had 1,400 acres, and we were able to salvage 150 (acres),” Lynn farmer Jerry Morgan said. “The rest of it failed.”
Morgan said when the levee in Pocahontas broke in May due to record floods, it sent water into the Lawrence County area, hurting the rice crop.
With all of the recent flooding, Morgan said there is no more “room for error” for farmers.
Pocahontas farmer Greg Baltz said he’s down about 20 percent in acreage, but said he’s got some early and late crops that are looking good.
The Jonesboro Sun reports that in 2016, farmers were hit by excess rain, in both May and August, but Morgan, along with other farmers, said the damage done wasn’t enough to recoup losses through insurance coverage. This year, however, that changed, with insurance able to cover losses, though a profit remains almost impossible, Morgan said.
“We lost enough (insurance) is going to pay us some,” Morgan said, though the exact amount he’ll be able to recover isn’t yet known. “… You’re not going to make any money. It hurts. On top of last year, when we didn’t get any relief, it makes it difficult.”
While flooding makes work hard for farmers in Northeast Arkansas, the rice market as a whole is up, Morgan said, with the latest numbers in the $12 per hundredweight range.
“It hasn’t been there in a while,” Morgan said.
If rice can wind up at about $6 per bushel, Sedgwick farmer Mitch Worlow said, that would be great.
“When it’s down below $5, bankers tighten up,” Worlow said.
While the market is…
click here to read more.