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La. rice crops lackluster
2TheAdvocate Business, September 8, 2004
The state's rice harvest is mostly in, and uncooperative weather and flat prices have made for a rather lackluster season for Louisiana farmers.

Ronald Levy, Acadia Parish county agent with the LSU Agricultural Center, said the heart of the rice-growing belt is seeing about 10 percent to 15 percent drop-off in yields from harvest time in 2003.

State Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom said that a falloff from 2003 is not necessarily a disaster, considering that year saw near-record yields and a rebound of prices to the highest levels producers had seen in six years.

The problem, Levy pointed out, is that farmers sunk money into their crops -- seed, equipment, fertilizer -- hoping to come closer to matching 2003's big harvest.

Rice farmers were thwarted in that attempt by heavy early spring rains that drowned fields. Heavy cloud cover slowed photosynthesis, the process by which the plants grow the grains people eat, Levy said.

He said rice farmers who might normally expect yields of 40 to 45 barrels of rice per acre may only harvest 35 barrels this season.

At 162 pounds a barrel, a 10-barrel-an-acre drop in yield means 1,620 fewer pounds of rice for every acre when rice prices are running $12 to $14 a barrel.
MGR Archive 8.9.2004
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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