Arkansas Rice: When To Stop Planting And What To Do After That

Rice field pre-flood. ©Debra L Ferguson

Next week’s forecast for rain appears to be hoisting the white flag for the 2019 rice planting season. The forecast shows some rain starting on Tuesday and continuing through Saturday, and that will push us through the first week of June.

That puts us into my recommended cutoff period for planting any more rice. Last week I said we had two weeks left to plant rice. We got week #1, but the odds are stacking up against week #2.

Planting progress has reached 80% as of last Monday, but it should be 95% by the next report. Some of that will be actual planting, but some will be from folks waving the white flag. Either way, the end is near.

Everything planted recently has come up rapidly with the warm temperatures and is off and running. Be aware that this will move the rice forward considerably and we’ll have to be right on top of management. More on that here: Late Planted Rice – Management Considerations.

Range of Issues Associated with Weather Conditions

High winds and rapidly drying conditions are to blame for a lot of woes out there. Loss of herbicide efficacy has been among the issues or lack of residual activation on later planted fields. With these winds and high temperatures, salt issues have shown in places that don’t usually have a problem.

We also have a lot of stressed rice that has shallow roots from constant wet weather and it’s struggling to handle the extreme dry conditions. It’s easy to say flush but at the moment rain is in the near forecast. So, make the call that’s best for you.

In some instances, herbicide injury from intended applications or drift have exaggerated these issues. A lot of rice out there could use a drink! Simple rule of Arkansas weather, wait a minute and it will change.

Crop Insurance “Late Planting Period” Ends June 9 for Rice

Anytime during the late planting period (May 25 to June 9), rice can be planted. However, the crop insurance guarantee will decrease one percent per day during this 15-day window. At the end of the late planting period, the insurance guarantee will be 55% of the original coverage amount.

On insured acres, growers are also eligible to receive 35% of the rice prevented planting (PP) payment and then plant soybeans, for example, after the late planting period (June 9).

In a “normal” year, soybeans would be the alternative crop, but the significant price rally in corn has enticed some growers to extend corn and sorghum planting well beyond the usual cut-off dates. Also, the 2019 MFP program requires growers to plant a “covered commodity” to qualify for payments.

As a reminder, a farmer can decide to take a prevented planting payment anytime during the late planting period. Field conditions after May 25th do not matter. Once a PP decision has been made, the crop insurance agent should be notified within 72 hours. Growers can notify their crop insurance agent from May 25 to 72 hours after the end of the late planting period (June 9).

Good record keeping is helpful in PP claims. Pictures of field conditions are useful as well as records of seed and input purchases that indicate an intent to plant.

Rice Market News

New crop September rice futures came within 2 cents of $12/cwt. on Wednesday when it was announced that Iraq bought 120,000 metric tons of U.S. rice. The sale will be recorded as an “oldcrop”sale.

Rice News on AgFax

Given the timing, it is very likely that some of this transaction could be shipped in the new crop marketing year—which begins August 1. The terms stipulate that shipment can be taken through September. Link to sale announcement.

Herbicide Resistance Traits Quick Reference Guide

We’ve had several questions regarding the different herbicide trait technologies across crops, and what herbicides those traits actually provide resistance to. We created a new publication that can be used to quickly identify this information for rice, corn, cotton, and soybean. Contact your local county Extension office if you’re interested in a laminated copy.

Diesel Prices Turn Lower

Since making a mid-month high near $2.14, NYMEX diesel futures have been on a steady decline. As of mid-day Friday, nearby diesel futures were trading near $1.85/gallon.

Diesel futures have traded from a low of $1.64 in January to a high of almost $2.14 on May 16. Technical traders would point out that a 50% retracement of the January to May range would be at $1.89. A close below $1.89 opens the possibility for trading down to the 62% retracement at $1.83/gallon. Watch closely.


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