This year’s unusually warm, dry fall weather has helped farmers in the Missouri Bootheel get the jump on preparations for 2017, according to the University of Missouri’s Trent Haggard.
Haggard, director of the Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville, Mo., said researchers at the station and at the University’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, are forecasting a 15 percent decline in rice acres in 2017.
“Part of that is from windshield observations,” said Haggard. “Our researchers were seeing a lot of field preparation as they drove through the area this fall. Even some of the zero grade fields that would normally go to rice were being rowed up.”
Haggard, a speaker who gave the Outlook for Missouri’s rice sector at the USA Rice Outlook Conference, said observers believe many of those acres will be shifted to soybeans.