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Rice Production in Arkansas

Rice Harvest | Row Crops | Farm & Ranch | Arkansas Extension

Rice production reportedly began in Arkansas in 1902 with one acre of rice grown in Lonoke County. However, some historical records suggest that rice was grown in some parts of Arkansas prior to the Civil War.

Official state records for rice production have been kept since 1905 for yields, harvested acres, and prices. Rice acreage gradually increased until 1955 when the first government acreage controls stabilized rice production on about 500,000 acres. Marketing quotas were lifted in 1974 and rice acreage increased, reaching a peak in 1981 at 1.54 million harvested acres, which was not surpassed until 1999.  The record harvested acreage for Arkansas was achieved in 2010 with 1.785 million acres.

In 2018, Arkansas rice producers harvested 1,422,000 acres and the state average yield of 166.7 bu/acre (7,500 lb/acre) was the third highest on record.  Arkansas accounted for 49% of total U.S. rice production and 49% of the total acres planted in 2018.  Currently, rice is grown in 40 of the state's 75 counties and ranks as one of the top three crop commodities in cash receipts for Arkansas farmers.

The Arkansas rice-producing area is primarily in the eastern one-half of the state. Rice is also produced in the Arkansas River Valley and in the Ouachita and Red River Valleys in southwest Arkansas. The state latitude range is from about 33° N where Arkansas borders Louisiana in the south to 36° 30´ N along the northern border shared with Missouri. The state longitude ranges from 89° 36´ W where Arkansas borders Tennessee and Mississippi to the east to 94° 36´ W along the western border shared with Oklahoma and Texas.

Rice Production Practices

Rice Research and Extension personnel are constantly working to refine and create new recommendations and practices to improve Arkansas rice production.

2015 Arkansas Rice Pocket Guide

Tips for Multiple Inlet Rice Irrigation 

DD50 Rice Management Program | Arkansas Extension

Rice Research and Practice - University of Arkansas Libraries


Additional Resources