Rice is grown in over 40 Arkansas counties. The crop contributes billions to the state’s economy and accounts for approximately 25,000 jobs, crucial to rural communities.
September is National Rice Month, a month-long celebration of all things rice. In Arkansas, we have a great deal to celebrate. Our state is home to 2,300 rice farms and 96% of those farms are family owned and operated. Our farmers produce more than nine billion pounds of rice each year.
The history of rice in Arkansas began in the 1800’s but it wasn’t until 1910 that production, research and milling were established in the state.
Today, Arkansas produces approximately 48 percent of U.S. rice and ranks number one in acres planted and bushels produced. Arkansas has been the nation’s leading rice-producing state since 1973.
Arkansas rice farmers not only contribute to our economy by creating jobs, they’re also known for giving back to their communities. The state’s rice industry gives over 100,000 pounds of rice annually to fight food insecurity in Arkansas.
Rice farmers have a commitment to protect and preserve natural resources. Today, Arkansas rice farmers produce more rice using less land, energy and water than they did 20 years ago. Working rice fields also provide critical wildlife habitat for many species of birds, mammals and reptiles.
A half-cup cooked serving of white or brown rice costs less than 10 cents, and provides vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Consuming Arkansas-grown rice helps support our neighbors who continue to produce a quality food supply. You can help celebrate rice month by purchasing Arkansas-grown rice at your local supermarket.
We’ve posted more information about the industry on our website www.arkansashouse.org.