An unusually cool spring and a fairly wet summer may have gotten area rice producers off to a slow start for the 2014 growing season. Conditions have improved greatly over the past few weeks, and as harvest time rolls around, many producers are seeing crops that are producing yields just below last year's record harvest.

The cooler spring temperatures and the above average rainfall of summer may have set the rice crop back just a bit. According to one rice specialist, while many people think rice needs a lot of water because it grows in a flooded field, the crop actually needs the sunshine. Wet weather means more cloud cover, and that can inhibit the growth of the plants.

Experts speculate that this year's harvest will be about 7,000 pounds per acre. That is just off of last year's record crop by about 500 to 800 pounds per acre.  Even though the yield is down from last year, it is up considerably over yields of the past decades.

Farmers don't anticipate an above average return for this year's crop. Many farmers in the area say that when yields are high, the prices are not. So, it all averages out in the end. Right now, the current price for November Rice is 12.610.