Weather hurt La. rice plantings, researcher says

WELSH, LA (AP) - The future of Louisiana's rice industry depends on research into new varieties that can provide bigger crop yields and plants that thrive in changing weather conditions, an LSU researcher says.

Steve Linscombe, rice research director for the LSU Ag-Center, told farmers attending a Jeff Davis Business Alliance meeting that mild weather in January and February delayed plantings. A record cold snap in March and April was followed by "on-and-off rain," making it a challenge to get rice planted, he says.

Only within the past month have fields started to look productive, Linscombe says.

He said that some soybean farmers had to plant their crops several times.

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