Rice – Arkansas And Missouri – More Draining, Limited Harvest

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

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

Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist:

“We have some late rice, with a lot of it just beginning to head, and rice stink bugs are building. These counts are the highest we’ve had all year, in fact. It’s not uncommon to count 50 to 75 on 10 sweeps. People are kind of shocked when they confront these numbers and I’m getting calls from folks who want to know if anyone else is seeing this kind of pressure.

“In a lot of cases, growers sprayed a week ago. On the next check, the numbers were back at extremely high levels. Where farmers have already started draining rice, the stink bugs that people are finding now came out of those fields. They went as quick as they could to that late, green rice.

“We do expect that to happen in a lot of years, although some of the counts this month are excessive. It’s one thing to tell people this can happen but quite another to actually experience it.”

 Tyler Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas:

“We’re draining a lot of fields this week, and next week we will probably drain most of the rest of our rice.

“One of my farmers may actually cut a field on Thursday (8/16), but it was planted pretty early with a really early variety, so that’s the exception. He’ll probably be the first grower in the area to begin harvesting rice but it may be 2 weeks after that before much more rice is cut.

“As hard as this year started and as much as we’ve had to fight grass and weeds, we’re blessed to have the crop we have. In places, it seems like nothing short of a miracle how good the rice looks.”

Eddy Cates, Cates Agritech Inc., Marion, Arkansas:

“We’re draining 60% to 70% of our fields right now (8/14). Most all of our rice is at hard dough. We’ll probably drain another 25% of the crop next week and only be down to a few late fields still at flood.

Curtis Fox, Consultant, Gillett, Arkansas:

“A couple of rice fields in the area have been cut but rain moved in. So, things are on hold. Everyone is waiting (as of 8/16) for this little weather event to move out of the way so they can salt it and cut it.

“I don’t know that I treated every field for rice stink bugs (RSB) this season but the majority of our fields were sprayed at some point. Planting was spread out, so rice headed through a wide window. We never hit a point where one big portion of the crop was headed at the same time. So, we seemed to be treating a field or two for RSB in different areas every week. The treatments did seem to work.

“Where people are cutting corn, it’s at pretty high moisture. The lowest I’ve heard right around here was about 20%, and this corn is going into bins for drying. But corn harvest will break wide open next week, just like rice harvest probably will.

“The majority of our soybeans – maybe 90% — are at R6 or R6.5. If it rains this weekend, that will pretty much finish up everything. We’ve swept them for the last time and have walked away. We did have a little battle with worms and scattered stink bugs here and there.”

Amy Beth Dowdy, ABD Crop Consulting, Dexter, Missouri:

“Big rains fell last night (8/15). In the south end of where I work in Pemiscot and Dunklin Counties. We got 5 inches of rain and upwards of 7 inches in places. Up on the north end of where I work, I think they only got 2 inches. The forecast does call for more rain tonight.

“We will still have to decide how much longer to keep pumping and will have to take care of any rice stink bugs (RSB). So far, I’ve maybe sprayed 6 or 8 fields for RSB. They seem to be worse in the grassier fields, of course. But right now, they’re below threshold in most fields and in places I can barely find any.

“We do have some late rice that’s just heading, so we’ll see how RSB trend there. We’ll probably be checking that rice for 3 or maybe 4 more weeks.

“I’ve told some growers to drain certain fields this week. That rice might be ready for harvest in the last week of August. But if there’s no hurricane coming, they’ll probably wait until after Labor Day.”

Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist:

“Harvest is off to a slower-than-expected start. Weather conditions remain unsettled to the point that we can’t make up our minds if it’s hot and sunny or overcast and rainy.

“On the Grand Prairie and farther south, combines are rolling but with an eye on the radar. Yields sound very good, though it’s still early. As I have reminded a few growers this week, it may be too early to speak for the whole crop, but great yields early suggest there’s a chance for great yields later. If the early yields are bad, then the whole thing is usually bad.

“At the least, we’re off to a promising start on what looks to be a very strong crop.

“I am observing a little more false smut as well as some kernel smut. Nothing to be alarmed about, but it’s surprising to find it in some of our early-planted fields because that rice typically escapes the smuts.

“Given the unsettled weather pattern, I’m recommending caution when considering the use of sodium chlorate as a harvest aid. We want to get rice out within 4 to 5 days after a salt application and avoid rainfall events between application and harvest.

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“In that scenario, drying and re-wetting can have major negative effects on milling yields. Also, if you take 7 days or more to harvest rice that’s been salted, that risk increases a great deal — plus, potential for shattering goes up, with further yield loss.

“If we can escape heavy rains through this weekend, we may have some real yields to report next week. Unfortunately, a fair amount of rice across very northern Arkansas was ready to be cut this week and they received 5-plus inches of rain this morning (8/16). The 2018 rollercoaster ride isn’t over yet.”

“Rice stink bugs (RSB) have been pretty erratic. Early on, we didn’t spray much, but this past week we had to treat some of the later rice for RSB. With a handful of fields, we’ve had to spray twice.”

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