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Rain still slowing rice planting; uncertainty grows on crop selection

Mississippi rice growers have yet to get a quarter of their crop planted but have started May in a holding pattern as rain across the Mid South has forced many growers from their fields.

Rain continues to hamper plantings by Delta rice growers.

Rain continues to hamper plantings by Delta rice growers.

Brandon-based AgFax Media reported Thursday that more cold weather heading into the region will further delay emergence where rice has been planted in the last several days. This last rain actually came out of the south and gave farmers in the upper Delta as much as an additional day to stay in the field compared to growers in the lower Delta,” Owen Taylor, AgFax editor, reported in a bulletin.

Taylor said that based on rainfall accumulation much of the region received at least some rain Thursday.

“The rain pretty much terminated corn planting in the Delta’s rice country except maybe in cases where growers are locked into contracts and will have to plant into May,” Taylor said,

A good deal of uncertainty still exists about what people will finally plant – rice, cotton, soybeans, grain sorghum? “Several of our contacts this week said that they can’t remember a season with so much uncertainty about crop mixes this last in the spring,” Taylor reported.

The AgFax bulletin noted that Tim Walker, a rice research professor at Stoneville, reported the rice that’s up is progressing slowly. “I’ve gotten calls from folks who are starting to put a little starter fertilizer on it,” Walker said.

“Based on some calls, more people want to kill corn that didn’t make enough of a stand and are asking about knocking down rows and planting rice. I told one consultant who brought this up that how well rice does at this point will partly depend on whether we miss extremely high temperatures during pollination.”

Walker noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has Mississippi’s rice crop at less than 20 percent planted.



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