Louisiana floods in August affecting seed rice now
NEW ORLEANS - The floods that inundated Louisiana in August also damaged rice harvested as seed for this year's planting.
Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says he's temporarily relaxed certification requirements to ensure farmers can buy enough for a chance at a good crop.
Department seed programs director Lester Cannon says farmers will have to buy more of some lots to make up for the problem, but sellers will drop the price to make up for it.
State certification for seed rice requires that at least 80 percent of test batches sprout in the department's seed laboratory.
Cannon says some lots reach that percentage, but many this year have germination rates of 60 to 80 percent. He says those will be labeled "substandard germination."
He says non-certified rice averages 60 percent germination.