Here is this week's RiceFax, covering rice production in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas.

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RiceFax: Midsouth/Texas is published by AgFax Media, Owen Taylor, Editorial Director. It is available to United States residents engaged in rice farming or qualifying ag-related professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. 601-992-9488 (Fax: 601-992-3503). Email: owen@agfax.com.

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Owen Taylor, Editor

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OVERVIEW

Here is our third and final RiceFax Harvest Survey Report for 2010.

As survey respondents continue to tell us:

  • Intense, prolonged heat was the biggest factor influencing yields across much of our coverage area in 2010. Lack of rain dovetailed with that effect, driving up pumping costs.

  • Disease pressure was intense in parts of our coverage area, especially panicle blight of various kinds.

  • Grain quality - or lack of it - is a nagging issue, especially across much of the Midsouth. Where growers had low yields, poor milling yields simply added insult to injury.

  • Water management - especially in terms of gaining and holding a flood - was critical. But as farmers and crop advisers run the post mortem on 2010, they're finding that some of the rules about proper flood management didn't fully apply in 2010. In certain cases, maybe a shallower flood and more frequent pumping reduced water temperatures and minimized some of the steaming effect that otherwise could have stressed plants.. More than once during our 2010 survey period, respondents have said that some of the better rice tended to be nearer the colder water.

  • Lack of rain in most areas during harvest at least allowed growers to bring the season to a speedy conclusion.

HARVEST SURVEY REPORTS

Thanks to everyone who took part in this week's survey.


Arkansas, Craighead County, Grower: “Our final yield was 135 bu/acre. Yields are only part of the problem. Milling can turn an average crop into a disaster. Farmers with bins may be shocked when their grain goes to mill. But farmers are like fishermen. WE WILL DO BETTER NEXT TIME.”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Grain quality.

  • One of the worst: Yields, profitability, insect issues, gaining and holding flood.

  • About average: Weed management.

  • One of the best: Stand establishment, disease issues.

  • Very best season: Harvest efficiency.


Arkansas, Crittenden County, Consultant: “We’ve finished harvest. Hybrids seemed to have been minimally affected by the panicle blight. Yields were in the 180 to 200 bu/acre range, but everything else --  from CL 151 to Wells and Jupiter -- were off by 40 bushels or more per acre.”

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Season evaluation:

  • One of the worst: Yields, profitability.

  • About average: Grain quality, weed management, gaining and holding flood, disease issues, insect issues.

  • One of the best: Stand establishment.

  • Very best season: Harvest efficiency.


Arkansas, Lawrence, Greene, Randolph and Clay Counties, Consultant: “Yields ranged from 130 bu/acre to 245 (the early hybrid 745). Most early hybrid rice was above 200 bu/acre, then the yields started dropping. The best CL151 was 195 bu/acre. Harvest went at a very fast pace because of the lack of rainfall. This has allowed for a lot of fall preparation for next year’s crop – whatever that may be, rice, soybeans or corn.”

Season evaluation:

  • One of the worst: Yields, grain quality, insect issues, gaining and holding flood.

  • About average: Profitability, stand establishment, weed management.

  • One of the best: Harvest efficiency.


Missouri, Butler County, Grower: “Our main-crop average has ranged from 175 to 190 bu/acre.”

Season evaluation:

  • One of the worst: Grain quality, gaining and holding flood.

  • About average: Yields, profitability, insect issues, weed management, disease issues, stand establishment, harvest efficiency.


Texas, Jackson County, Grower: “Our first crop was nothing to write home about. It averaged about 45 barrels/acre (green). We are almost done with second crop, and it is looking to average about 20 barrels. Our milling yields are likely going to be better on the second crop than the first. First crop came in with a 62/73 average.”

Season evaluation:

  • About average: Yield, grain quality, insect issues, disease issues.

  • One of the best: Profitability, stand establishment, weed management, gaining and holding flood.

  • Very best season: Harvest efficiency.


Mississippi, Leflore County, Grower: “Our final yield was about 170 bu/acre (green).”

Season evaluation:

  • One of the worst: Grain quality.

  • About average: Yields, profitability, stand establishment, weed management, gaining and holding flood, insect issues, disease issues, harvest efficiency.


Arkansas, Greene and Randolph Counties, Grower: “Our final average was about 185 bu/acre. Our rice yield was down about 25% over the last three years.”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Grain quality.

  • One of the worst: Yields, profitability, gaining and holding flood.

  • About average: Weed management, insect issues, disease issues.

  • One of the best: Stand establishment, harvest efficiency.


Arkansas and Louisiana, West Carroll, Morehouse, Madison, East Carroll and Richland Parishes (La.) and Chicot County (Ark.), Grower and Dealer Rep/Agronomist and Manager: “Our final average yield was 180 bu/acre.”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Grain quality.

  • One of the worst: Profitability, gaining and holding flood.

  • About average: Stand establishment, weed management, insect issues, disease issues, harvest efficiency.

  • One of the best: Yields.


Missouri, Butler and Ripley Counties, Grower: “Harvest in our area is complete. The rice crop looked to be one of the best ever, but the summer heat, plus the fact that we did not receive any rain from the end of May until now, took a toll on the crop. What rice has been delivered has had low test weights and average to below average milling yields. The rice that was harvested and delivered to the elevator averaged 165 bu/acre. We still have a lot of rice left in the bin and hope that once it is all hauled in that the whole farm average will be around the 165 bu/acre mark. We are concerned, though, because samples taken from the bins have had low test weight averages.”

Season evaluation:

  • About average: Yields, profitability, grain quality, insect issues, gaining and holding flood, disease issues.

  • One of the best: Stand establishment, harvest efficiency.

  • Very best season: Weed management.


Arkansas, Cross County, Extension/University: “The county average is about 120 bu/acre. This is 20 to 40 bushels less than our normal average. Milling yields are the lowest we have seen.”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Profitability, grain quality.

  • One of the worst: Yields, gaining and holding flood.

  • About average: Stand establishment, weed management, insect issues, disease issues.

  • One of the best: Harvest efficiency.


Missouri, Butler County, Grower: “Main crop harvest has been completed. We will begin ratoon harvest in about 2 days (from 11/3).”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Grain quality.

  • One of the worst: Yields, profitability.

  • About average: Stand establishment, disease issues, harvest efficiency.

  • One of the best: Weed management, insect issues, gaining and holding flood.


Arkansas, Jefferson County, Extension/University: “We’re through with harvest, and the crop was below average, maybe 140 to 150 bu/acre for the county average. Yields were mostly disappointing, especially where hybrids were not planted. Our corn was mostly good. Cotton yields were excellent, and soybeans produced a good average crop.”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Gaining and holding flood.

  • One of the worst: Yields, grain quality, harvest efficiency.

  • About average: Profitability, stand establishment, weed management, disease issues, insect issues.


Arkansas, Poinsett County, Grower: “Our farm average across all varieties was 176 bu/acre dry. It was a very hot and dry year with a very early harvest with dry fields. Milling average was in the 55/67 area. Field and milling yields were all over the board, but most were down, and some (growers) have had a very low milling crop. These were the worst soybeans we’ve had in 30 years.”

Season evaluation:

One of the worst: Gaining and holding flood.

About average: Yields, profitability, grain qulity, stand establishment, weed management, insect issues, disease issues.

One of the best: Harvest efficiency.


Louisiana, Jeff Davis and Cameron Parishes, Grower: “Ratoon harvest has started. Average main-crop yield was about 38 barrels/acre.”

Season evaluation:

  • One of the worst: Gaining and holding flood, disease issues.

  • About average: Yields, profitability, grain quality, insect issues.

  • One of the best: Stand establishment, weed management, harvest efficiency.


Arkansas, Location not given, Grower: “Our final yield was 134 bu/acre.”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Insect issues.

  • One of the worst: Yields, profitability, grain quality, insect issues.

  • About average: Stand establishment, weed management, gaining and holding flood, harvest efficiency.


Texas, Wharton County, Grower: “Our ratoon harvest has started. Our anticipated combined first and second crop yield is 90 hundredweight/acre.”

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Season evaluation:

  • About average: Yields, profitability, grain quality, stand establishment, insect issues, disease issues, harvest efficiency.

  • One of the best: Weed management, gaining and holding flood.


Arkansas, Poinsett County, Grower: “Our final yield is about 140 bu/acre.”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Yield, grain quality, insect issues.

  • One of the worst: Profitability, gaining and holding flood.

  • One of the best: Weed management, disease issues.

  • Very best season: Stand establishment.


Arkansas, Arkansas County, Grower, Dealer Rep/Agronomist and Manager: “Some averages were 180 bu/acre for hybrids, while varieties averaged 200 bu/acre. This is one of the few years that varietal yields have been much larger than hybrids. Some of the later rice was milling very low. Most soybean yields were average, with some below average.”

Season evaluation:

One of the worst: Gaining and holding flood, harvest efficiency.

About average: Yields, profitability, grain quality, stand establishment, weed management, insect issues, disease issues.


Louisiana, Vermilion and Acadia Parishes, Grower: “Our ratoon harvest has started. The main crop averaged 47 barrels/acre, while ratoon yields are averaging in the 17 to 24 barrel/acre range.”

Season evaluation:

  • One of the worst: Yields.

  • About average: Profitability, grain quality, stand establishment, gaining and holding flood, disease issues, harvest efficiency.

  • One of the best: Weed management, insect issues.


Florida, Palm Beach County, Dealer Rep, Agronomist and Manager: “Our ratoon harvest has been completed, with an organic yield of 23 hundredweight/acre and non-organic at 30 hundredweight/acre green.”

Season evaluation:

  • Very worst season: Insect issues, disease issues.

  • One of the worst: Yields, profitability, grain quality.

  • About average: Weed management.

  • One of the best: Stand establishment, gaining and holding flood, harvest efficiency.


Arkansas, Northeast Counties, Consultant: “Harvest is done for the most part, and yields are off. There is a lot of 100 bu/acre rice around, some even less. The lowest I have heard of mine was 120. That was in 2 fields, but I had several in the 130 and 140 bu/acre range. Overall, mine is close to 160 dry. We just lucked out and had a lot of hybrid and very little Wells and 151, which were 2 of the worst here. It was just an awful yielding year here, and this seems to be attributed to heat and panicle blight.

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"One thing most consultants have zeroed in on is that rice on sandier ground and shallow floods all year seemed to yield better. For some reason the heavier ground where there was less pumping associated with those fields actually yielded less, like maybe the micro environment right there at the plant somehow steamed the rice. Several cases of high yielding rice fields this year are on the sandier fields where we pumped more. Also, rice nearer the cold water yielded better. Growers who kept real real shallow floods did better this year, too. I have heard grower after grower with heavy ground and deep floods complain that their yields being way off."

Other Crops: “Corn was good, with a lot of 200 bu/acre averages. Soybeans were good, with a lot of yields in the 70s (bu/acre) and even some at 80 on entire acreages. The early MG IVs were the best. The MG Vs were the worst but still weren’t bad, with lot of 60s on big acreage where they were near-100% watered. Cotton was really phenomenal, and we had some reaching 1,700 lbs/acre, and even a field or two in the 1800s. Top averages are 1,300 to 1,500 on entire acreages. One or two varieties did drag us down, so there would have been a lot of 1,500 lb/acre cotton averages on whole farms if it hadn’t been for that. All the big yields came from grid sampled fields where fertility was really pushed.”

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