A Late Start For Rice Growers

Jun 6, 2010 8:45 PM

The recent wet weather put a damper on the rice growing process. D

The flooded fields don't allow oxygen to get into the soil, which makes it difficult for the crop to develop, not to mention a muddy ride for tractors. Other growers are facing similar problems. Lundberg's fields were completely flooded just a few days ago, but thanks to the warmer weather, the rice is finally starting to grow. It is up to mother nature now. If the crop takes longer to mature, it can make things more difficult come Fall. "Rice harvest will be a little later, we usually like to start in September but some of the rice may not come off until the first part of October or the middle of October and we don't like cutting because Fall weather could set in and it will be harder to get out."

According to the 2008 Butte County Agricultural Crop Report, rice was the top grossing crop, bringing in just under two-hundred fifty million dollars. Lundberg hopes this year will also be successful. "We had a late start before, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens."

Harvest season usually starts in early September.

avid Lundberg is in his thirty-first year of farming and owns thirteen-hundred acres of rice. He says planting typically starts in April. However, because of all the recent rain, his first field was not planted until May 15th and his last field did not get planted until June fourth. "We don't like all the rain, especially this May was probably the coldest on record. We had the high of sixty-three and it just, the rice that got in, it was behind, it wasn't growing even if we got it in," Lundberg explained.


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