Since it is a Leap Year there is an extra day in February in 2012, a one day extension of the month that happens every fourth year to helps scientists and scholars correctly calculate the movement of the Earth as it makes its perpetual path around the Sun.
The extra day this year represents another day of hope for rain by Texas rice growers who say only a Central Texas downpour this week could give them reason to hope the 2012 crop year isn’t a total bust.
As it stands now, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) is set to implement a new water management plan beginning as early as March 1 that will severely limit rice farmers in three Texas counties from taking water from the Colorado River below Lakes Buchanan and Travis if lake levels are below 850,000 square-acre feet. As of Feb. 27, the level was holding steady at 844,000 square-acre feet, and unless the skies open up over Central Texas on Feb.29, farmers face another round of indecision over if or how much they should plant this year and when to get the crop into the ground.
Rice farmers in Wharton, Matagorda and Colorado Counties will be affected, the largest rice growing area in the state and one that produces about five-percent of all U.S. rice.