Temperatures have finally assumed summer normal in SE Texas—and the past week has been dry which is good for flowering rice. As of July 10, about 60% of the Texas rice crop was heading or beyond. Typically, by this time of year, some of our earliest planted rice is harvested. Based on many late plantings this year, I expect fewer ratoon acres compared to the recent past.
Not many pest problems to report—mainly rice stink bug—I strongly encourage farmers to sample their fields with a sweep net, especially during heading and milk stages. Do not spray unless rice stink bug populations exceed treatment thresholds which you can find in the 2014 Texas Rice Production Guidelines.
I did get a call from Randy Waligura about a rice farmer near Garwood who is seeing a lot of snails on the foliage of his rice. Randy is going to send me some specimens for ID, but we do know this snail is not the channeled apple snail which occurs in the Texas Rice Belt but has not been problematic. The channeled apple snail is very large, but the snail in question is small. I inspected a rice field in Liberty Co. a number of years ago. The rice in this field was tillering and was infested with many small snails, but no damage was observed. These snails eventually disappeared leaving no effect on the rice. I will keep you posted.
The Beaumont Center hosted the 68th Annual Rice Field Day on July 9. The weather cooperated—not too hot and no rain. About 100 folks took the field tour and listened to scientists discuss the latest in inbred and hybrid rice breeding, fertility management, rice physiology, pathology and entomology.
The morning program was held inside where Dwight Roberts (CEO of USRPA) discussed opening of Chinese and Cuban markets and the importance of identity preservation in rice mills. Crop Consultant, Cliff Mock, spoke about water metering on the Brazos River and Dr. Ted Wilson compared inbred and hybrid rice production inputs and outputs. A delicious barbecue lunch was provided by Austin’s Barbecue headquartered in Eagle Lake and graciously paid for by B. U. Growers. Following the lunch, an Organic Rice Workshop headed up by Drs. Fugen Dou and Anna McClung was held in the auditorium. If you want a handout from the Field Day, contact me at 409-658- 186 or email@example.com.