Mississippi Rice: Harvest Starts On Limited Basis

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Here are Mississippi reports from our August 17 issue of AgFax Rice.

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Wayne Dulaney, Agronomist, Local Seed Co., Clarksdale, Mississippi:

“Everyone is itching to start cutting rice, although no one to my knowledge has made a successful start in this area. Some samples on Monday (8/13) were still running 24%.

“We did apply some sodium chlorate on 100 acres on our own farm this morning (8/16) and hope to get into that rice next Monday (8/20).

“Overall, the crop looks good. By next week, people will start gnawing away at some acres where the moisture is right, provided we have good weather. The forecast does call for an 80% chance of rain tomorrow, with a half-inch accumulation and then another chance on Saturday that tapers off into early next week. Whether that happens, who knows? We’ve had 80% chances lately and got nothing.

“A little corn has come out and I think a good bit more corn harvest will start next week. The yields I’m hearing are all over the board, from 150 to 250 bu/acre. With some of these lower yields, corn was under pivots and the fields never received enough rain to supplement what the pivots could deliver. In certain cases, maybe pivots were turned off too early.

“But, again, I’m hearing about a good deal of variability. One farmer may be disappointed while the next grower has cut some pretty good corn. This won’t be a record crop but it should be average.

“A few acres of soybeans around Shelby have been cut. I heard one report of 600 acres being harvested near Tchula and it was about half irrigated and half dryland. Yields averaged in the mid-70s (bu/acre).

“This has been a low-stress soybean crop in terms of insects where I’m working. On our own farm, we’ve maybe sprayed 5% of the acres with an insecticide. Of the fields I check, I’ve recommended treatments on maybe 1,000 acres. Where we were sweeping this week, we might find 2 to 4 stink bugs in a field or 1 or 2 loopers.

“One thing that’s helped, I think, has been the way Extension entomologists have discouraged people from making automatic insecticide applications when they apply soybean fungicides. Angus Catchot here in Mississippi and Gus Lorenz in Arkansas have been emphasizing that for a while and I think it’s having an effect.

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“One grower said he wondered why he was finding so many spiders in his beans this year. I suspect that’s the reason. Beneficial insects have been plentiful in places.”

Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist:

“Some harvest started last Thursday or Friday in the earliest fields. No yield numbers have surfaced yet but people generally say they’re pleased.

“Questions this week have mainly been about sodium chlorate – when to apply it in terms of moisture and how much to apply. When those are the main questions, you know the crop is winding down. This one wound down fast, too, and we’re about a week away from seeing combines running on a wide basis.

“We’ll still need to watch some of the late rice for stink bugs. With all the other rice finished and being cut, they’ll start concentrating in the only rice that’s left.”

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