Arkansas Rice: Planting Nearly Complete; What About Replanting and Other Problems?

Crop Progress

As of Monday planting progress was 92% based on USDA-NASS numbers.  There were more acres planted during the dry conditions this week and relatively little rice should be left to plant in the state – but the replant situations for areas of the state flooded out remains a mystery.

As the waters have receded in parts of the northeast a number of those fields have been replanted this week.  Many more are left to emerge from the floodwaters or field conditions are so poor that a great deal of field work is necessary to get them into a condition to replant anything.  Still trying times for many acres.

One additional advantage of the dry conditions of this past week was the ability for many to re-pull all of the lost levees from heavy rains and flooding.  Yields from rice on levees still play a major role in overall field yields in the state.  We can expect a decrease in overall field yields this year related to yield loss associated with lost production on levees – some slight decreases from delays in re-seeding and some complete losses as levees can’t be re-seeded in a timely manner to be viable at crop maturity.

Fig. 1. Re-pulled levees will likely lower yields in fields across the state

Most Problems Improved by Rain?

Rainfall received last night and today should alleviate many of the current concerns out there, though not helpful to those with flooded fields.  Fields up and down the state have young rice with a burned, desiccated appearance reminiscent of salt injury (Fig. 2).  While we do have salt problems in a number of fields in the state, that’s certainly not what has been happening on a widespread basis.

A number of factors have been in play to create the current situation.  A prolonged period of wet conditions combined with cool nights exaggerating herbicide injury was the starter.  That was followed by a major increase in temperatures combined with high winds which dried out the soil and ultimately the shallow-rooted rice plants.

Stressed seedling also become more susceptible to seedling disease which has also picked up but it is the secondary problem at this time.  Rain should be the answer to promoting new green growth and straightening the crop out to move forward.

Others with rice coming out of flooded conditions have rice attempting to stick to the ground.  The rain should help to keep the soil surface wet enough to prevent sticking and avoid plant death associated with this condition.

Fig. 2. Sick, drought-stressed rice is common throughout the state.

Fig. 3. Stretched rice plants sticking to the ground after being submerged.

Fig. 4. Other fields with healthy rice in the state are now going to flood. More next week.

Further Replant Considerations

There are a few items to consider with the given seed shortages out there when looking at replant options.  If you have planted a Clearfield cultivar and made Newpath applications then you can only plant back to a Clearfield cultivar.

If you are unable to secure seed of a Clearfield cultivar for the replant, then it is not feasible to plant to a non-Clearfield cultivar because of the crop injury that would occur and is off-label based on the plant-back guidelines on the Newpath herbicide label.  The label requires an 18-month interval between Newpath applications and planting conventional, non-Clearfield rice.  This is a topic that would need to be discussed with an insurance adjustor should you find yourself in this situation.

As a reminder for those attempting furrow-irrigated rice (row rice), this is not an insurable practice.  While this has been discussed and written about numerous times it seems that some confusion still remains, but again it is not an insurable practice at this time.

Preflood Nitrogen Recommendations

The 2017 Rice Farming for Profit publication on pages 12-14 contains recommendations for nitrogen rates, urease inhibitors, and determining midseason nitrogen needs using the Greenseeker handheld.


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