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Published August 04, 2010, 08:41 AM

Rice farmers struggling to make ends meet

LAFAYETTE, La. — Farmers are gearing up for the annual rice harvest, but low prices might make it difficult to turn a profit on this year’s crop. It’s a stark contrast from last year, when rice farmers were enjoying record yields and strong market prices.

LAFAYETTE, La. — Farmers are gearing up for the annual rice harvest, but low prices might make it difficult to turn a profit on this year’s crop.

It’s a stark contrast from last year, when rice farmers were enjoying record yields and strong market prices.

The Advertiser reports farmers in Louisiana responded by planting more rice acreage than they had in more than a decade, only to see prices collapse in the spring.

Stuart Gauthier, Vermilion Parish agent for the LSU AgCenter, says for a lot of farmers, the price is below production costs.

While rice prices have slumped, Gauthier says fuel and fertilizer costs have climbed steadily during the years.

Maurice rice farmer Dane Hebert said farmers’ only hope is for rice prices to improve before this year’s crop is brought to market.

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