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Increased wet weather taking its toll on the rice industry

Posted at 11:16 PM, Aug 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 00:16:30-04

The wet weather pattern is having an impact on agriculture, including the rice industry.

KATC spoke with a local rice specialist says increased rain in the area can reduce the amount of rice harvested today and in the future.

Rice specialist Ronnie Levy says the ongoing rain conditions could cause the rice plant to fall over.

This could damage it or lower the quality of the rice.

"As this continues to go on then you start getting more damage. And more problems with it being able to be harvested. At some point, if it were down into the water then it would rot and would not be able to be harvested,” Levy said.

"Demand has been steady supply is going to be a question mark until we get it all out"

Vice President of Supreme Rice John Morgan says the increased cost in chemicals, fertilizer, and fuel has already caused an increase in the price of rice by 40-50 percent since 2021.

"Probably the first 30 percent of the crops came out good. After that it's been a fight, we're probably in the last third of the crop now. And the yields are down quite a bit. So some are reporting some of their best some of their worst,” Morgan said.

However, Morgan says although prices haven't increased yet because of the weather--they could soon.

"By the time you put it in the package and put it on the shelf. Theirs a lot of costs built into that, like packaging distribution, freight that kind of deal. overall you'll probably see prices start to creep up a little bit,” Morgan said. "It's been a stress on the equipment and the farm community. So if you know a farmer give them a hug,” he added

Morgan says the weather will likely continue to affect harvesting until the end of the year.

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