Here is this week's issue of AgFax Rice.
Our thanks to the Southern and Texas field staffs of Dow AgroSciences for exclusively sponsoring this year’s reports.
Editor: Owen Taylor, 601-992-9488.
Rice harvest has started – barely – in Texas. That’s according to Friday’s update on the Texas A&M rice crop survey website. The site reported that 1% of Wharton County’s crop had been cut so far. No other harvest activity was listed. Heavy rains also were cited as issues in parts of the state’s rice belt. Texas farmers are draining more fields now.
While a bit more rice has been harvested in southwest Louisiana since our last report, rains have mostly kept combines out of the field. See comments by Dustin Harrell.
More rice is heading in the Midsouth.
Rice stink bug numbers continue to jump in early heading rice in Arkansas. In places, counts quickly rebounded after the first insecticide application. See comments by Gus Lorenz. Fall armyworms are still turning up in some Arkansas rice and a few also are being reported in Mississippi fields.
Disease pressure continues to be relatively light in the Delta states, based on this week’s calls. The main question continues to be whether to make preventive fungicide applications. See comments by Jarrod Hardke about whether to make blast treatments in Arkansas.
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Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Innis, Louisiana
“All of my rice this year is in hybrids and all of it is behind crawfish. We’re probably at 3-inch stem elongation now. Things are quiet.”
David Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas
“Our rice generally ranges from pre-boot to boot, and we’re in the beginning stages of applying kernel smut and sheath blight materials on a lot of acres. We started last week and will make a bigger push this week. Most everything has had midseason by now.
“Some heads started poking out a little last week, not fully yet, but this week we’ll have obvious heads in some fields.”
M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist, Beaumont
“A lot of fields are being drained now, so harvest is approaching. The crop still looks good. Relatively low populations of rice stink bugs are being reported. No big problems or issues are turning up.”
Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist
“Fall armyworms keep coming and they’re still popping up in rice here and there. But rice stink bugs (RSB) are the big thing this week. Some fields are beginning to head and RSB numbers are pretty high, from right at threshold to 8X or even 10X treatment level in spots.
“Numbers should back off as more rice heads and RSB dissipate through more acres. That’s the pattern we see in many seasons – heavy pressure in the earliest rice when it’s heading and then numbers tapering off to reasonable levels as more fields begin heading. We are finding threshold levels in early fields everywhere in Arkansas with the exception of the the northeastern corner.
“Refrain from spraying until 50% to 75% of the rice in a field has heads. If you treat too early, you could miss some of the later movement and might have to spray again. That’s what we’re trying to avoid.”
DeWayne Dopslauf, Crop Production Services, Wharton, Texas
“Most of our rice is headed out and we’re starting to drain a few fields. We’re also checking for rice stink bugs (RSB) and have treated in places, either with Tenchu or generic Karate.
“Some of our rice adjoins or is near corn or milo, and harvest is just cranking up in those crops. That pushes RSB into rice, and I expect to see more RSB as that harvest progresses.
“Our first rice harvest will begin around July 25, I think. In a few fields we’ve already been turning off water and pulling gates. That rice is on heavy clay soils, so it could take about 3 weeks for them to dry out enough that we can run combines without rutting the ground. On sandy ground, we’ll start draining 7 to 10 days before we pull a sample.
“It’s hot and we’ve been receiving scattered showers. In some places that have missed recent rains, it’s really dry now.”
Curt Johnson, CRC Ag Consulting, LLC, Lake Village, Arkansas
“Most of my rice is well past midseason, and some of the earliest fields will be drained around the last day of this month, which is approximately the predicted time. That acreage was planted in LaKast and it really took off. Heads already are out and turned down.
“Most of my rice is running behind that, with the bulk of it between midseason and boot. Where our rice is headed, only one farm has been sprayed for rice stink bugs. That was about 600 acres. Rice on an adjacent farm was a little further along, and it had stink bugs but not nearly enough to spray.
“I’m seeing a lot of sporadic heading in some varieties. The plants aren’t very uniform, which really bugs me. One variety in particular seems to be taking twice as long to head out, and it reminds me how Cypress progressed when we still planted it.
“That said, most of our crop looks good. It’s certainly shaping up nicely after all the trouble we had applying herbicides.
“My corn is just about done. I’ve turned loose about 85% of it. I’ve still got a few late-planted fields that we’ll maybe water one more time if they’re not wet when I get there.
“The majority of my soybeans are at R5 to R6. Stink bugs have just about been nonexistent in our soybeans. I’ve been told that treatments were going out for redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) but not in beans that are near mine. Where I’ve found greens or RBSB, they haven’t even been close to treatment levels.
“The same goes for worms. This week we sprayed bollworms in one small area, maybe 30 acres of soybeans, and that’s been it. Those beans were held up by rain, so the canopy didn’t close and moths congregated there.”
Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist
“The rice, itself, still looks pretty good, but a lot of late grass has been breaking through. That tells us how tough it was to take this crop to flood. It’s hard to find a field that doesn’t have at least some of this. I’ve been from the top to the bottom of Arkansas this week, and I can tell you that nobody was spared. It’s just a question of how much grass broke through in a given field.
“It may not actually knock yields too much now. By this stage of the crop any grass at all tends to look worse than it is.
“People are asking what they can do to clean it up. For one thing they’re concerned about grass maturing and depositing more seed in the seed bank. Nobody wants to see grass in the field, anyway, but some of this sounds more like a revenge killing than a reasoned economic decision.
“At this point, you’re limited on herbicide options. Pre-harvest intervals have to be taken into account. And there’s no guarantee that a late treatment will work well, anyway. You’ll spend $30 an acre chasing those escapes and maybe not achieve your goal.
“There’s always some concern that grass will help pull down well-tillered rice with a heavy panicle, causing more and more rice to lay over. But unless you’ve got a complete jail break – with heavy grass escapes throughout the field – taking out grass for that reason may not be the best use of your money.
“And let me repeat 2 things – the grass probably isn’t as bad as you may think and control might not be satisfactory if you do treat.
“Given the weather, plenty of people are asking about whether or when to make fungicide applications to prevent blast. This would be on varieties, since hybrids are resistant to blast. Avoid making a knee-jerk decision, even if you’re growing susceptible varieties.
“The decision is complicated because this is a purely preventive program. If you don’t spray and blast develops, you can’t go back and fix it. If you spray but blast doesn’t take shape, you’ve spent money that won’t give an economic return.
“When making this decision, take into account whether the environment will promote blast. That includes warm temperatures. Also, is rain in the mix and are dews prolonging leaf wetness in the mornings, like what you’d see with trees on both sides of a field. Plus, are you growing a susceptible variety and does the field have a history of blast? Beyond that, are you having trouble holding a deep flood, which helps prevent blast?
“We don’t have any kind of formula for weighing all those variables. What you’re facing is simply a judgment call.
“Rice stink bugs (RSB) are still building in places and farmers and consultants are reporting cases where they treated and reduced numbers but then RSB quickly built to threshold again. That can happen when numbers are high and a limited amount of rice has headed, plus the residual with our regular insecticides is limited.
“The forecast calls for sustained heat next week, both during the day and at night. This may be a year to consider keeping water moving through the field. You tend to see this pattern in more moderate weather – yields are highest the farther plants are from the cold water coming out of the well. But last year – which was an extremely hot year – we saw a reverse effect. With the water getting so hot out in the field, the yields actually went up the closer plants were to the well.
“If we run into hotter-than-normal nights then you might be able to minimize some of that heat stress by keeping water flowing through the field to moderate water temperatures farther from the well.
“Next week they’re calling for hotter days – around 92 to 93 for highs – with nighttime temperatures at 75-plus. From the plant’s standpoint, that’s not much difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, and it could expend extra energy at night trying to stay cool, and that will maybe effect yields. Keeping water circulating could mitigate at least some of that stress.
“A quick reminder: our ‘Rice College’ is set for August 3 at the Rice Research Station. That’s the day before our annual Rice Expo. We held this training event 2 years ago and people said the hands-on instruction was great. You must register online ahead of time on our signup page.”
Amy Beth Dowdy, ABD Crop Consulting, Dexter, Missouri
“We’re putting the last fertilizer on conventional rice and are applying fertilizer on hybrids. I’m finding a little sheath blight and treating just a very few fields this week, plus doing preventive blast treatments in a handful of fields.
“Scattered heads have popped up on a few field edges, but it’s nothing really consistent. Towards the end of next week we probably will see more heads. It’s hot – hot, hot, hot.”
Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist
“Overall, rice is probably 30% to 35% headed and more heads are coming out every day. In places, it’s getting close to 50%.
“I’ve had a few calls about fall armyworms but have not heard about any treatments. Not a lot has turned up as far as rice stink bugs go. Insects are very quiet, as is disease. Where people are applying fungicides, it’s part of their program and this is normally the point when they would spray.
“One guy who had hellacious problems with sheath blight last year has found none of it this year – even though it’s the same field, the same variety and the same management.”
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley
“Frequent rains through southwest Louisiana have pretty much stalled harvest this week. Some rice is ready to go but rains have been hitting us almost every day and the forecast calls for a 50% to 60% chance for the next 7 days (from 7/13).
“At this point we don’t want to start running combines and rut up fields, especially where growers will ratoon some portion of the crop. It’s still early, so we can hold back right now.
“Any yield reports that have come in since last week are average, no bin busters. On the other hand, we haven’t seen any really low averages, which is good. Hopefully, we’ll move into a drier pattern soon and get harvest underway in earnest down here.
“The northeast Louisiana crop seems to be doing really well. Much of it is in late boot to early heading. No real disease outbreaks have turned up, just things here and there.”
Louisiana Rains Slow Harvest; Yields Look Fair-to-Good 7-14
Mississippi: Rice Producer Field Day, Stoneville, Aug. 2 7-13
Ag Groups Fear Trump Plan to Limit Steel Imports Will Backfire on Trade – DTN 7-13
WASDE U.S. Production, Supplies Lowered 7-12
Arkansas Rice College, Stuttgart, Aug. 3
Arkansas Rice Expo, Stuttgart, Aug. 4
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