Florida Crystals Completes Rice Harvest in South Florida

Thanks to fair weather and excellent planning, Florida Crystals’ dedicated, hardworking rice team delivered our final truckload of the season to our Sem-Chi Rice Mill in Belle Glade, Florida, on Oct. 20.

This season, we grew rice on 20,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). In addition to our own rice, we also process rice grown by independent farmers in the EAA, located in western Palm Beach County.

We are proud to mill enough rice to feed more than 4 million people annually.

We grow our rice in rotation with our sugarcane, sweet corn and other cover crops as part of our sustainable farming practices.

A number of factors played into this year’s success, said Daniel Cavazos, Florida Crystals’ Director of Rice Farming.

“We began planting very early this year, germination was excellent,” Daniel said. “Our planters did a fantastic job.”

While last year’s harvest was hampered by heavy rainfall throughout South Florida’s rainy season, rainfall during this season’s peak harvesting months was “considerably less,” Daniel said.

The drier conditions made for perfect harvesting conditions, while helping to keep the crop healthy.

The rice team now is working on planting winter cover crops and preparing for the 2022 rice season.

“The last week of this season’s harvest, the mill was busting at the seams,” Daniel said. “Our job is to provide our mill with good quality rice. Hopefully, we can do that again next year.”