Arkansas Rice: Seeding Rates, Burndown Recommendations

The March is On…

“How high’s the water papa?”  I don’t know about you but I’m over the rainfall this winter.  February was reportedly the wettest on record, at least for some parts of the state.  But as the saying goes, we’re never more than two weeks away from a drought.

For some that have missed a rain here or there, some rice is about to go in the ground.  Yes, before the Ides of March (March 15) we’ll have some rice in the ground.  Ground temperatures are still pretty low, so it will be slow going, but highs in the long-term forecast are the upper 60s and possibly touching 70, so we’ll see!

Seeding Rate Recommendations

As a reminder, in Table 1 are general seeding rate recommendations for selected cultivars.  These are base recommendations that research data has shown to produce optimum stands and therefore optimum yields across a range of years and locations.

In addition to these baseline numbers, it is recommended to increase seeding rates based on additional factors such as seedbed preparation and planting date.  Optimum yields are achieved with stand densities of 12-18 plants/ft2 for varieties and 6-8 plants/ft2 for hybrids.

Ultimately, plant the seed you need to achieve these stands and you’ll be headed in the right direction for 2018.

Table 1.  Seeding rate recommendations. Click Image to Enlarge

Burn Down, Go Ahead and Give It To Me

So maybe that’s not exactly what Tom Petty said, but if he worked in ag it could’ve been.  Burndown applications ahead of rice planting are a good idea, but we have to keep in mind our weeds of concern and our plant-back intervals (Table 2).

Glyphosate is included as a part of most burndown apps these days, but depending on your situation and the level of glyphosate resistance in your area, odds are you’ll need a little something extra in the tank.

Ryegrass resistance is an increasing issue south of I-40 and may require Select followed by Gramoxone.  On bigger ryegrass it will take 16 oz Select Max + COC.  Keep in mind those plant-back intervals as listed below.

Table 2.  Plant-back intervals for common burndown herbicides. Click Image to Enlarge

Much Ado About Medium Grain

Still many conversations about acreage predictions of late.  With that in mind – long grain acres will be the major source of fluctuation as usual.  However, medium grain acres seem much more of a certainty.  Somewhere between 225,000 and 250,000 acres seems likely – let’s call it 240,000.

Jupiter will still dominate the medium-grain crop this year.  It’s earned that right, but Titan looks to be a favorable competitor – however, without additional approvals (still pending) it will continue to play second fiddle.  Know where you’re going with Titan before you plant it.  And if planting both Titan and Jupiter, plant the Titan first as Jupiter may hold up a little better later.

Of about 1,450,000 total rice acres, minus medium grain, that leaves 1,210,000 acres of long grain.  This is a slight reduction in total acreage prediction – due to soybean prices of course.

Soybeans are always the gorilla in the room and recent price improvements should help to suppress rice acreage gains over last year.  The number will probably still fall lower than 1,450,000, but let’s see what the upcoming weather holds for rice planting.

Fig. 1.  1990-2017 AR Medium Grain Acreage. Click Image to Enlarge

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