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Barry Could Devastate Arkansas’ Rice Crop

ARKANSAS (TB&P) —Arkansas’ rice crop, delayed by a wet spring and bludgeoned by high heat, is now facing a triple threat from Tropical Storm Barry, whose remnants are expected to drop heavy rain on the eastern side of the state on Sunday (July 14). The National Hurricane Center on Thursday (July 11) showed potential rainfall totals ranging from 4 to 10 inches in eastern Arkansas, with the higher amounts expected closer to the Mississippi River.

“Barry has the potential to dump inches of rain during flowering and heading – rain which will disrupt pollination,” said Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We’re very vulnerable at this point, particularly as the plants begin flowering.”

“A little wind is good — we like to have pollen on the move because it means improved chances for pollination and grain fill. But if we get excessive winds and heavy rains during this period, particularly during the middle of the day, it’s bad news. It’s not that common in July, but you can end up blanking out entire panicles from severe wind and rain,” Hardke added.

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