South Louisiana and Texas
From Michael Fruge, District Field Representative
Planting season is officially here as some drills started rolling on Friday, February 26. Yes, you read that correct. We have rice planted in February. I know several years ago there was some rice planted in south Texas in February, but I have never seen it happen in south Louisiana. With the warm winter we have had, I am not at all surprised to see this. The majority of the farmers that are planting are south of highway 190, whereas most of the ground north of 190 is still a little wet.
CL111 is once again going to be the variety of choice in south Louisiana, as the yields on first crop and second crop and the quality continue to be excellent. The closer we have come to planting, the more I have heard of farmers wanting to reduce their seeding rates on CL111. Our optimal seeding rate for CL111 is 60 to 70 pounds per acre. On this variety, it is very important to stay within the recommended seeding rate range so that it continues to perform well on first and second crop yields.
In addition to conducting our own studies, Horizon Ag has cooperated closely with Dr. Harrell at that Rice Research Station. The data he has collected has been very instrumental in our recommendations. On the other hand, CL151 is a variety that we have not seen negatively affected by lower seeding rates. As a matter of fact, lower seeding rates (55 to 65 pounds per acre) actually helps with lowering the lodging risk on CL151.
More drills will begin to role the first week of March in Louisiana and Texas. If we miss the rain early this week, it will be wide open by the end of the week. If you have any questions please give me a call. Good luck to everyone this year and hopefully we will all be blessed with a bountiful crop.
NE Arkansas and Missouri
From Garrett Williams, District Field Representative
Things are shaping up in Arkansas and Missouri as we move towards the 2016 planting season. Burn-down herbicides are going out and the ground that wasn’t worked in the fall has been worked over the past few weeks. If the increased chances of rain materializes over the next two weeks, progress will obviously slow down.
It appears that we are going to see an acreage increase in Arkansas and Missouri this year. Early indications suggest that 1.5 to 1.6 million acres could be planted in Arkansas and quite possibly near 200,000 acres in Missouri.
With the current economic landscape, growers are continuing to look for ways to cut costs. One that I am hearing is not using a seed treatment. While we do not recommend planting untreated seed, we realize that in years like this, many will roll the dice. The improvements in seed treatments have been a major driving force for decreasing seeding rates in recent years. If you choose not to use a seed treatment, we recommend that you increase your seeding rate above our maximum recommendation by 10 pounds per acre.
For growers who have never moved below the 90 to 100 pound per acre rate, this may be a good year to consider reducing rates, especially if you are using a good treatment. Seeding rates also need to be increased 10 to 15 pounds per acre for furrow-irrigated rice. Furrow-irrigated rice has really increased over the past few years, especially in Missouri, and CL111 has been a popular choice because of its earliness and blast resistance. Planting season is right around the corner so please give us a call if we can be of any assistance.
Mississippi, SE Arkansas and NE Louisiana
From Tim Jett, District Field Representative
The 2016 planting season is quickly approaching. Speculation in my area is that rice acres will increase, albeit, the amount of increase won’t be known for a few more weeks. Conversations of cutting cost are prevalent in my area. Seed and seed treatments are subject to be reduced. The importance of getting a good stand and setting the foundation for managing your crop should not be marginalized especially when those perceived savings can end up costing you more in the end.
CL163 is our new release for 2016 and should be a very good fit in my area. When compared to Rex, using data from the Mississippi On-Farm Variety Trials over the last couple of years, CL163 has competed step for step. Coupled with the advantages of the Clearfield® System over conventional herbicide systems, CL163 offers yield potential with stability.
With the current economic outlook, yield potential is as important as ever. CL151 is still as viable as any varietal offering on the market when it comes to yield. With proper management, the opportunity to decrease the potential for lodging and maintain the yield advantage of CL151, while decreasing inputs is an option that shouldn’t be overlooked. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.