- Associated Press - Saturday, May 21, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Favorable weather has agricultural officials predicting a near-record amount of rice being planted in Arkansas this year.

Extension rice agronomist Jarrod Hardke with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture says he’s predicting 1.6 million to 1.7 million acres of rice in 2016.

Hardke said 1.7 million acres of rice would be the second-most ever planted in Arkansas, trailing only the 1.785 million planted in 2010.

Arkansas is the nation’s leading rice-producing state.

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