IOWA, LA (KPLC) - The biggest rice yields in four years are expected by rice farmers across Southwest Louisiana.
The LSU AgCenter held its first rice field day of the year in Iowa to keep farmers up to date with the latest recommended practices.
Several experts gave presentations and advice on how to prevent diseases and pests to produce the most yields.
Dustin Harrell, the state's extension rice specialist, says they were worried about production at the start of the year, but are now expecting big results.
"It stayed colder a lot longer than it normally does here in Southwest Louisiana," Harrell said. "But then as soon as that left, it went from winter to summer almost immediately, and when that happened our rice really began to take off and grow well."
Harrell also stated that while an agreement has been in place for the United States to sell rice to China for about a year, progress has stalled.
Harrell says with the current trade negotiations, it looks as though rice farmers across the country will have to wait even longer to tap into China's rice industry.
Here is a list of the rest of the field days in the series:
May 31, Evangeline Parish rice field day at the Bieber Farm, 1 mile west of Mamou on Bieber Road, starting at 8:30 a.m.
June 5, Vermilion Parish rice field day at the Lounsberry Farm east of Lake Arthur on La. Highway 14, starting at 4 p.m. followed by supper at the Klondike Fire Station.
June 13, Acadia Parish rice field day at the South Farm of the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, starting at 8:30 a.m.
June 27, Rice Research Station. Field tours start at 7:15 a.m. and the last trailer will leave at 9 a.m., followed by a poster session and indoor presentations.
July 18, Northeast Louisiana rice field day at the Colvin Farm at 632 Scales Road, Rayville, followed by indoor presentations at the Rayville Civic Center at 817 Louisa St., Rayville, 9 a.m. until noon