CROWLEY, La. (AP) — LSU agriculture experts estimate that the yield from this year's rice harvest in south Louisiana will be down 10 to 15 percent from last year.

A news release on the rice crop from the LSU AgCenter says the harvest is just getting under way in north Louisiana but hot, dry weather could affect grain quality in that part of the state.

Steve Linscombe, director of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station and Dustin Harrell, an AgCenter rice specialist, both listed heavy rainfall from March until May, and frequent overcast skies as major reasons for lower yields.

Linscombe said less sunshine made for fewer and smaller grains per plant. Harrell said excess rainfall meant farmers were unable to make fertilizer applications on time. Disease was also a factor in lower yields.

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