Ida turns east, gives Arkansas rice farmers a break

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Ida turns east, gives Arkansas rice farmers a break

Rice farmers across much of Arkansas are breathing a little easier now that Ida has turned east.

Jarrod Hardke is an extension rice educator for the University of Arkansas. “We have escaped the majority of rainfall, and there may be a little more fall in the far eastern, southeastern portions of the state,” he says.  “The amounts now look far lower than what they were forecasted to be just a couple of days ago.” He tells Brownfield the tropical storm season threatens the state’s rice crop.

“Wind alone is not a great thing for a rice crop,” he says.  “And very heavy rainfall is not that great. When you put the two together, that’s when you usually get a lot of significant damage to the crop, a lot of lodging potential.  That large amounts of rain and those riding high winds have a tendency to act like a big hand and push the crop over.”

Hardke says there also becomes a sense of urgency this time of year. “The season has started, and one has come in,” he says.  “After the multitude of storms that came in last year that we had to fight around, everyone is very much geared toward an all-hands-on-deck effort to get the crop out very speedily if we’re going to get a nice dry window to get anything done.”

AUDIO: Jarrod Hardke, University of Arkansas

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