As rice harvest begins to ramp up this month, California farmers say they expect to have a good crop, although yields may not be as remarkable as they would like, given the late start to planting this spring.
A small percentage of fields are already harvested, but the good majority of farms will be starting this week and likely run into November, according to University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisors Chris Greer and Luis Espino.
"It looks like it's going to be an OK harvest," says Butte County rice farmer Michael Arens. "The weather seems to be good. I think the crop is going to be average. I don't think it's going to be anything spectacular."
He planted his first field in mid-May and says he expects to begin harvest next week. But stand establishment was tough this spring, he says, because late-season rains delayed planting, which typically causes a drop in yields.
For more, see: Rice harvest underway in Sacramento Valley