LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Arkansas rice farmers have set a record for the number of acres planted in rice.

The USDA's latest estimates shows nearly 1.7 million acres of rice planted in Arkansas this year -- up by 13 percent from 2009. Arkansas is the nation's leading rice producer and nearly 44 percent of all land planted in rice in the United States is in Arkansas.

Agricultural economist Scott Stiles in Jonesboro says good weather allowed farmers to get a head start on planting this year.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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