Wild rice crop not looking great in Wis., Minn.

Weather caused some problems

The wild rice beds in northern Wisconsin are nearly ready for harvest. But, aerial surveys by agricultural observers show the wild rice crop isn’t looking that great.

Peter David, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission biologist, said a warm spring triggered early germination and heavy rain did some damage. David said while a few scattered beds look good, the overall crop looks poor, especially in northwest Wisconsin. He told Wisconsin Public Radio News beds in east-central Minnesota are in even worse shape.

The grain grows on tall stalks in shallow lakes, streams and riverbeds throughout the upper Midwest and Canada. In Wisconsin, most of the rice harvest comes from Burnett, Washburn, Polk, Vilas and Oneida counties. Additional beds are managed on tribal lands.