JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas rice growers were beset by difficult weather last year and growers are being warned that the 2012 growing season will have its own challenges.

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Rice Research Center Director Chuck Wilson says growers will find higher fuel and fertilizer costs this year. They'll also have to be wary of disease, such as bacterial pannicle blight and fungal diseases that aren't easily remedied.

Last year, spring floods caused late planting and forced some growers to replant. The result was the lowest rice acreage since 1996 -- 1.2 million acres.

The Jonesboro Sun reports ( ) that Wilson advises that water management is the key to success. Proper water promotes stronger plants that have better resistance to disease and have a greater yield.


Information from: The Jonesboro Sun,

Copyright 2012 The AP.

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