JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Could colder temperatures earlier in the year affect Southwest Louisiana farmers?
“We live and die by weather. Seriously and literally," says Kevin Berken, a rice farmer. "So whether we make it or not we have to take what the good Lord gives us and that’s it.”
Berken has been in the rice business most of his life.
“First crop that we plant in March and some in April. We harvest in July and August," says Berken. "Then we put some fertilizer on and put water back on the fields and because we stay warm for so long then we can have this second crop.”
But with the cooler temperatures moving into the area in early November, Berken says that with a combination of rain has made things a little difficult.
“It’s been tough," Berken says. "It’s been tough going. Today’s not an ideal day to be harvesting because it’s not sunny and it rained last night, but we’re so far behind, we just have to go and do it anyway.”
Berken says weather plays a big role throughout the year, but he has enough time to prepare his crops and machines. He says by this time of the year, his second crop has matured, but that may not be the case for everyone.
“It’s not going to hurt us, I don’t think," says Berken. "Might be a few, some people may have a later second crop. It might hurt them a little bit, but for the most part, we’re okay.”
Berken says within the next week or two, he and most other farmers he knows will be done harvesting their second crop, and that a good freeze sometimes helps the harvest the following year.