Our Rice Harvest Season is Underway in Palm Beach County
South Florida’s long, hot days signaled the earliest start ever to our rice harvest on our family-owned farms in Palm Beach County, Florida.
After harvest, we dry, mill, package and distribute our rice from our rice mill in Belle Glade, Florida.
On June 18, our harvesters began the first cut of 20,000 acres of rice, which will yield both conventional and organic rice. After the first cut, we will allow many of our farms to regrow, or ratoon, before harvesting the rice a second time.
“Rice loves long, hot days,” explains Daniel Cavazos, Florida Crystals' Director of Rice Farming. “Each year, our rice has been maturing faster due to the heat. This year, we started nearly a week earlier than we planned.”
In years past, rice harvest season typically began in July. But, with the day degrees, or number of degrees available for the crop to grow, increasing each year, our rice has matured at a quicker pace.
“We’re bringing in a good crop and meeting our estimates,” continued Daniel. “We had adequate rainfall when the rice needed it, and while it was hot, the rice wasn’t damaged, which can happen if it’s subjected to extreme heat.”
Once the rice is harvested, it is delivered to our rice mill in Belle Glade, where we also mill and package rice from other local farmers in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA).
Rice harvest season usually ends in early November, but with the early start, we expect to wrap our harvest in South Florida in late October.