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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - December 2, 2022
“Have a holly jolly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year.”
It’s time to point this rig toward the 2023 season and leave 2022 in all its dust.
My magic 8-ball in its lack of infinite wisdom tells me that based on how things look
right now, and nothing really changes (ha!), that we’ll see an increase in rice acres
in 2023 compared to 2022. As a reminder we planted about 1.1 million acres in 2022
and harvested slightly less than that. What kind of increase in 2023? 1.2 million
acres seems like a safe bet. A favorable start to the spring could easily see us
reach 1.3 million acres. Higher than that is not out of the question, but a few variables
need to start piling up to get us there: early planting weather (the first dry April
in 5+ years), maybe some help in nudging down fertilizer and fuel costs, rice prices
remaining high, lower ground getting dry, and an increase in medium-grain demand.
One of the things that concerns me at the moment are prices. I like them, don’t get
me wrong, but history tells us that the cure for high prices is high prices. That
is, high prices will correct themselves at some point, and sometimes that correction
can be rough. Let’s add one last cliché – prices fall faster than they climb.
Table 1 provides a glimpse at the break-even yields for 2023 for different crops using a
25% crop rent, current prices (minus basis), and production costs from UADA Enterprise
Budgets. Hopefully some of the input costs will be better than current expectations,
but it largely looks like 2022 over again.
You can also check out 2023 Crop Comparison by Yield and Price. This is an Excel spreadsheet you can download and edit that is built to show different
price and revenue outcomes for the different crops. Note there is one sheet for crop
comparison and another sheet for comparison of rice types.
One final note of farewell to our market man, Scott Stiles. Please see his final
post in the Rice Update below. I know you’ll all join me in wishing him well, and
for sharing his insight with us in this newsletter for the past 10 years.
Let us know if we can help.
Table 1. 2023 Crop Budget Comparison for Selected Crops in Arkansas.
Total Variable Costs
Return over Variable
Return over Total
Rice Information Sheet No. 182 Arkansas Rice Performance Trials 2022 is provided below.
This contains the final results of the Arkansas Rice Performance Trials (ARPT) and
DD50 Planting Date studies. This research is funded by rice growers of Arkansas through
the Arkansas Rice Check-Off.
2022 Arkansas Rice Performance Trials
Winter is here. Most importantly, slow down a little, celebrate the holidays, and
spend time with loved ones. In agriculture we know winter is also a time to review
the previous year and prepare for the next. Find a balance between work and family.
There’s never a shortage of meetings in the winter. We want to mention the dates
have been set for the 2023 county production meetings. Barring a resurgence in COVID,
county meetings will be held in-person. Take advantage of the information exchanged
in these meetings, not only from the speakers but the attendees. One thing that Zoom
will always struggle to provide is the opportunity for networking, the serendipity
of human contact and the spontaneous meetings and quickly exchanged words around the
coffee pot, hallways and restrooms that spark new thoughts and ideas. These chance
interactions are priceless and quite possibly the most valuable resource we get from
Something to keep in mind for winter meetings is the “5 and 5” rule. Maybe during
or right after a meeting, list five (5) key takeaways you learned. Then list five
(5) next steps. These steps could be people you want to follow up with, or things
you heard and want to learn more about. This will keep you actively engaged in the
meeting and hopefully add value to your time.
Below is a listing of our county meetings we have planned as well as two additional
meetings of interest that are coming up soon. Make time to attend.
2023 Winter Row Crop Production Meetings
Winter production meetings begin in January. Dates and locations for individual meetings
may be subject to change, due to weather, COVID activity or other factors. For specific
production meeting details, contact your county extension office.
Jan. 10 - Poinsett/Craighead - Rice, Soybean, Corn
Jan. 11 - Lonoke/Prairie/Pulaski - Rice, Soybean, Corn
Jan. 12 - Cross County - Rice, Soybean, Corn
Jan. 24 - Lafayette, Miller, Little River - Cotton, Corn, Soybean, Rice
Jan. 25 - Ashley/Chicot - Rice, Soybean
Jan. 26 - River Valley - Soybean
Jan. 27 - Clay/Greene - Corn, Cotton
Feb. 3 - Lee/Phillips - Rice, Soybean
Feb. 3 - Mississippi/ Crittenden - Corn, Cotton
Feb. 6 - Jackson/ Independence - Rice, Soybean
Feb. 7 - Lee/Phillips/Monroe/St. Francis - Corn, Cotton
Feb. 7 - Jefferson County - Rice, Soybean, Corn
Feb. 8 - Arkansas - Rice, Soybean, Corn
Feb. 8 - Craighead/Poinsett - Corn, Cotton
Feb. 9 - Greene (AM)/ Clay (PM) - Rice, Soybean
Feb. 9 - SE Arkansas - Corn, Cotton
Feb. 10 - White - Rice, Soybean, Corn
Feb. 13 - Tri County (Lincoln, Drew, Desha) - Rice, Soybean
Feb. 14 - Monroe/ St. Francis - Rice, Soybean
Feb. 15 - Woodruff - Rice, Soybean, Corn
Feb. 16 - Mississippi - Rice, Soybean
Feb. 17 - Randolph/ Lawrence - Rice, Soybean, Corn
Feb. 28 - Crittenden County - Rice, Soybean
March 1 - Clark - Rice, Soybean, Corn, Cotton
2022 USA Rice Outlook Conference December 7-9, Austin, Texas.
Tri-State Soybean Conference January 6, Dumas, Arkansas
2023 Crop Budgets
The 2023 crop budgets available at: https://www.uaex.uada.edu/farm-ranch/economics-marketing/farm-planning/budgets/crop-budgets.aspx
As in past years, the budgets are in Excel spreadsheet format. Prepopulated budgets
are available for: Clearfield, conventional variety, FullPage hybrid, Hybrid, and
Provisia production systems. The spreadsheets allow users to adjust yields, crop
prices, share rents and production costs to their specific operation. If you’ve been
pre-purchasing inputs for next year, you likely know some of your input costs already.
Contact Breana Watkins with any questions or comments about the enterprise budgets
at email@example.com or (870) 919-4569.
On the topic of budgeting, we hear often “know your numbers” and “the numbers don’t
lie”. There is truth in the fact that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. As
you prepare a loan renewal package or for a visit to the accountant, you need a brutally
honest and accurate balance sheet and a knowledge of your revenue, gross profit, and
expenses. The attention to detail in preparing financial statements will help you
figure out what costs are unnecessary or excessive and which revenue-creating opportunities
to focus on.
And, business bookkeeping is not something you have to do all by yourself. There’s
no shame in hiring someone to help. The goal here is to be better informed about
your farm business. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Trying to do something
that someone else can do better is something to watch out for. If you want to build a great business, surround yourself with great people. No one can do everything well. Inventory your strengths and weaknesses.
Good-bye and Farewell
This is my last contribution to the Rice Update as I’m retiring November 30th after 23 years with the University of Arkansas. I want to thank Jarrod Hardke for
allowing me to be a small part of the Rice Update over the years. He’s been very kind to a guy that grew up on a cotton farm.
Over the years I’ve heard the phrase “do what you enjoy and you’ll never work a day
in your life”. I’ve had the privilege since 1999 of getting paid to read, write,
and talk. It’s been wonderful analyzing the commodity markets, visiting with growers
and industry on a daily basis, speaking at meetings or to the media.
In the Rice Update, I tried to give you the best data available in a world that’s unstable and a place
where flawless answers do not exist. Did I make some mistakes? Oh Yeah! What I’ve
learned along the way is this: accept the unknowns and act anyway. Make decisions
based on the information you have at hand. Acknowledge that you may make mistakes.
Learn from them and move on.
Best Wishes to all and a healthy and prosperous 2023.
The Arkansas Rice Advisor site https://riceadvisor.uada.edu functions like an app on your mobile device. There you can readily access the DD50
program, rice seeding rate calculator, drill calibration, fertilizer and N rate calculators,
publications, and more.
Arkansas Rice Updates are published periodically to provide timely information and
recommendations for rice production in Arkansas. If you would like to be added to
this email list, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information will also be posted to the Arkansas Row Crops blog (http://www.arkansas-crops.com/) where additional information from Extension specialists can be found.
More information on rice production, including access to all publications and reports,
can be found at http://www.uaex.uada.edu/rice.
We sincerely appreciate the support for this publication provided by the rice farmers
of Arkansas and administered by the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.
The authors greatly appreciate the feedback and contributions of all growers, county
agents, consultants, and rice industry stakeholders.
Rice Extension Agronomist
Extension Weed Scientist
Rice Verification Coordinator
Extension Soil Fertility
Extension Rice Pathologist