But by noon Wednesday, he became nervous and went to check the field to see if it was dry enough.
At 2 p.m., he made his first cut, loaded his rice truck and brought it to Planter’s Rice Mill in Abbeville to test the moisture level.
He is hoping it is low so he can continue to cut. If it is still high, another day is wasted because the fields are too wet to get the equipment in.
Landry and other rice farmers in Vermilion Parish are having to deal with wet fields that are making it impossible to cut their green rice (rice sold straight to the rice mill).
The longer the rice stays in the field, the risk it has of becoming less quality due to the moisture. A rice grain with more than 20 percent moisture may begin cracking, which lowers the price of the crop.
Speaking of prices, they are not where rice farmers had hoped they would be. A break-even price is around $15 per barrel for green rice. A couple of years ago the price was an impressively-high $22 per barrel for green rice.
The selling price this year? A dreadful $11.20 per barrel.
If there is more than 20 percent moisture in the crop, the price may fall even further.
“The rain and the prices are hurting us and we can not control either one,” said Landry.
There are different reasons as to why the price is so low, but the most popular reason is due to the large amount of rice planted this year. Louisiana farmers planted 80,000 acres more rice than a year ago. Vermilion Parish, which planted 61,000 acres this year, planted 20,000 acres more than a year ago.
Too much rice on the market means lower prices.
Stuart Guathier of LSU Ag Center said there is some rice being cut, but many farmers are waiting for the ground to dry.
“We need a few hot dry days,” said Gauthier. “The longer the rice is out in the field, the lower the quality of the rice.”
Gautheir said the delay in cutting and having muddy fields also means the delay in the making a second crop. If the fields are muddy during cutting, the farm equipment churns up the mud and creates large ruts in the field, possibly damaging the second crop.
Landry is not worried about planting a second crop. He puts cattle on the field instead.
“It is not worth it,” Landry said.
Some farmers have avoided the wet stuff the last few days and began cutting and hauling their crop to Planter’s Rice Mill in Abbeville.
Eddie Gaspard, who oversees Planter’s, said a handful of farmers began cutting their green rice crop last week and this week. But due to the weather and late planting, the mill has not yet been overrun with green rice.
“The weather is slowing them down,” said Gaspard. “I expect them to come in heavy soon. There are a few people coming, but I expect it to catch up fast.”