|Interest in the new Provisia™ Rice System, as well as the latest developments in the Clearfield® Production System for rice, drew one of the largest crowds in recent years to the Horizon Ag Arkansas Field Day at Mark Wimpy Farms near Jonesboro.
“Provisia is an exciting new tool that you are going to be able to put in your toolbox, whether you are a consultant recommending to farmers how to keep their fields clean or you’re a farmer struggling to keep fields clean,” Dr. Tim Walker, Horizon Ag General Manager, told field day attendees. “Keep your eyes on the Provisia system this season. Provisia herbicide from BASF is really good, and we have a very good variety — PVL01 — to launch this technology.”
With the success farmers are having using the Provisia Rice System to clean up fields severely challenged by weedy rice and herbicide-resistant grasses, Dr. Walker said the outlook is also bright for Clearfield rice varieties to continue to make farmers more profitable year after year.
“Let’s not forget about the Clearfield technology,” said Dr. Walker. “Many of you consultants and farmers have done a phenomenal job of stewarding this technology on farms throughout the South. I’d say at least 75 percent of the rice acres in the southern United States still have very good success with the Clearfield system. You are rotating with soybeans, maybe some conventional rice, and now you will have another rotation partner with Provisia rice. Clearfield rice has done a great job for almost 20 years, and if you go out there today, some of the best fields you will see from a cleanliness standpoint are going to be those with the Clearfield technology.
“We are not giving up on Clearfield technology just because we are bringing out Provisia. We are a partnership company. Everything we do is built on synergistic relationships with our industry partners, retailers, consultants and farmers. There is going to be a tremendous synergistic relationship — a partnership between the Provisia and Clearfield technologies.”
The Arkansas Field Day showcased Provisia PVL01; the latest, high-performing Clearfield varieties like CL153, CL163 and CL172; and experimental seed in the Horizon Ag pipeline.
Dr. Sunny Bottoms, Senior Technical Services Representative for Horizon Ag, said the first year of Provisia rice has provided many key learnings that will be used to fine-tune agronomic management recommendations for the system next season. It’s also brought her a welcome relief from the usual calls about various issues experienced in rice fields throughout the South.
|“The calls I get are usually requests for me to look at a field because there is challenge or something happening,” she said. “But this year, after permanent flood, I started getting calls from farmers with the Provisia Rice System, who repeatedly told me it was the most economical and cleanest fields they had this year. The PVL01 fields are by far the cleanest rice fields as far as grass is concerned throughout the region this year, and this has been a very tough year for controlling grass in Arkansas. Many farmers have me told me they are going to double or triple Provisia rice acres next year because the system is so effective and easy to use.”
Dr. Bottoms said PVL01 was planted on around 35,000 acres in the South, with the large majority of the initial planting being used to clean up the most severe instances of weedy rice infestations. She noted that many of these fields had basically been lost to rice because the pressure from the weedy rice complex had drastically lowered yield potential. In other infested fields, where farmers were still trying to grow rice, varieties and hybrids were only managing to cut around 100 bushels per acre.
“There was a tremendous need for this technology,” said Dr. Bottoms. “With PVL01, farmers are able to gain back fields that had been lost to weedy rice.”
Dr. Walker added that initial harvest reports from Louisiana indicate Provisia rice is doing “exactly what we needed it to do down there. The weedy rice complex is being controlled on those acres where we had it, and yields are really good. We are getting a lot of 43- and 44-barrel rice, that’s 165-bushel rice. We have heard yields as high as the 180-190 bushel per acre range. That’s a far cry from the 120- and 130-bushel rice [that] farmers have been cutting in the weedy rice mess we have been dealing with in south Louisiana and parts of Arkansas. We are anxious to see how PVL01 continues to perform as we move north into areas that are extremely infested in the weedy rice complex and grass.”
As for Clearfield varieties at the field day, Garrett Williams, Horizon Ag District Field Representative, noted that today’s choices for farmers range from proven performers like CL111 and CL151, to elite varieties like CL153, CL163 and CL172 featuring high yield potential, industry-leading grain quality and desirable agronomic features. He noted that next season CL111 will include the Pita gene, which confers blast resistance. In addition, CL272, a medium-grain rice from Horizon Ag, will have a full plant run this fall by Kellogg’s, said Williams.
Promising experimental varieties being tested include CLX1111, a very early-maturing long-grain rice; CLX1133, a long-grain rice with a strong disease control package; CLX4803, which has shown very good yield potential across soil types; and CLX1030, a medium-grain rice well-suited for the region.
“We have a big lineup today and a lot of experimental lines coming that will give farmers a lot of opportunity with different maturities and characteristics to help increase their profitability,” said Williams.