Rice – Rain Brings An End To Planting (Maybe) – AgFax

    Owen Taylor, Editor

    Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Rice, sponsored by the Southern rice team of Corteva Agriscience.


    Rain began falling in the middle of the week through much of our coverage area. For the Midsouth, it was welcomed. In the coastal rice belt, totals were overwhelming in places. See comments by Dustin Harrell and DeWayne Dopslauf.

    Diseases are turning up in southwest Louisiana. A little sheath blight and leaf blast have been detected.

    In the Midsouth, plenty of rice seed had been planted in dry soil, so the rain could give growers a break where flushing up stands seemed likely.

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    Blake Foust, Consultant, Southern Heritage Cotton, LLC, Forrest City, Arkansas:

    “We have rice that’s finally going to flood. On the other end of things, we have rice that was just planted yesterday (6/4). This season has been a challenge. It was wet so long. Now it’s turned dry, and it’s hard to kill grass when it’s dry. For the most part, rice that’s going to flood looks good.”

    Scott Holder, Helena Chemical Co., Cleveland, Mississippi:

    “It’s been raining today (6/6) and we needed it. So far, 6 or 7 tenths have fallen, maybe more in spots. It’s been drizzling and misting all morning, with brief showers, too. They’re talking about 2 to 3 inches in total. If that accumulates slowly between now and Sunday, it will be perfect.

    “Water is running now on probably 80% of our crop. A little more rice will be flooded next week and some was just planted a week ago behind dirt buckets. We flushed that last week. It’s not up yet but it’s coming.

    “With all the rain earlier, residual herbicides have worked well. We had a small flurry of herbicide drift reports earlier, just here and there, but not much is turning up now. Compared to some previous years, it doesn’t seem bad this season.

    “Our first-planted corn is tasseling and fertilizer has gone out. Corn in that next round of planting will probably be tasseling next week but some replanted acres are a ways off. Our older beans that made a good stand look nice. Again, rains kept herbicides active and the residuals performed well. For the most part, we don’t have any bad spots or messes.

    “It’s amazing how things have moved along, considering that most planting and field work has been done in 3- to 4-day spurts between rains. Compared to what I’m hearing from some other areas, we’re luckier than a lot of folks.”

    Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist:

    “With a few rice fields around the Grand Prairie, no seed treatment was used and now we’re finding grape colaspis activity. The growers cut corner and that gave colaspis an opening.

    “For whatever reason, it also appears that rice water weevil (RWW) numbers are much higher than average. Again, a lot of people skipped the seed treatment and they might expect a degree of RWW damage in those fields.

    “To compound the problem, a lot of growers probably missed the opportunity to apply a foliar application to take out adult RWW after fields went to flood. The treament goes out 3 to 7 days after the flood where adults and scarring are present.

    “The only option after that is to drain the field until it’s cracking, which nobody wants to do since draining messes up fertilizer and weed control. So, be on the lookout for those adults moving into fields as they go to flood. These infestations are happening throughout the state, and we’re finding a good deal of scarring in places.

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    “This year we’ve done a lot of survey sweeping for redbanded stink bugs in wild hosts and cover crops and saw a good deal of rice stink bugs, too. At some point, they’ll start staging to move into rice as it begins heading. With all the late rice, this could be a year with heavy RSB pressure.”

    Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana:

    “Maybe as much as 50% of our rice has gone to flood. On the other hand, the last 700 acres of the 2019 rice crop will be planted tomorrow (6/4). The grower would have planted earlier but couldn’t get seed. He wanted to go with a hybrid, and those were in short supply here. But with people pulling back on rice in Arkansas and Mississippi, the seed was available but had to be shipped in.

    “A lot of flushing is underway and people are spraying, and more rice is going to flood now.

    “Beans range from R3.5 to still being planted and a few more will be planted as flood water drops a bit. We started fungicides in places. Overall, beans look fair.

    “This will be the latest crop in my 34-year career. It’s certainly the most spread out. I’m optimistic but also realize it will be a long season.”

    Jack Haney, South Arkansas Crop Consulting, Pine Bluff, Arkansas:

    “It’s raining (6/6) and the weather is something like you’d expect with a tropical depression with intermittent showers. We’ve gotten a couple of inches of rain here this week and misty showers are blowing through today (6/6).

    “We certainly needed rain for the southern part of my territory. That area missed several rains that came through the state. We did manage to plant pretty much all of our rice but still have a long way to go with soybean planting.

    “Not much rice is at flood yet, maybe 10%, and we’re trying to move more fields in that direction. Our most advanced rice is nearly at midseason. We just don’t have much of that. On the other hand, we’ve also been flushing rice this week to try to get it up.

    “We intended to plant a little more rice this week but the rain knocked that in the head, so I think we’re done with rice planting this year. That was going on ground that we weren’t able to get in all year but it finally got dry enough to work. They went over it once but then it rained 2 inches, and it won’t get dry enough soon enough to go in with rice this year.

    “Overall, the crop we’ve got up is pretty. Corn looks great and we’re applying fungicides on our early beans. I just hope the markets are strong enough that farmers can make money this year.”

    Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist:

    “Farmers either got a lot of rain or a little rain but most everyplace received some rain. It was welcomed. A lot of rice seed was put in dry ground, and this rain should help those farmers avoid flushing fields to gain a stand.

    “A good deal of rice is going to flood this week, so the rain will help with that, too. In places, the earliest rice will receive midseason applications in 5 to 10 days (from 6/6).

    “After the big planting rush over the last couple of weeks, we can accurately say that this season will have two distinct crops. People make that observation to some extent every year, but in 2019 it’s definitely the case.

    “A big portion of the rice was planted in late March and early April but most of the rest wasn’t planted until the last 10 to 15 days. We’ve certainly had periods in the last several years where a few people were flooding and planting rice at the same time, but that’s happened this year on a large scale.

    “Rainfall amounts vary. In north Washington County and Bolivar County, it’s rained over an inch in places. No word on Tunica County totals yet. Here at the station (Stoneville), a half-inch has fallen so far but it looks like it could pour at any moment.

    “Be patient as we proceed. We got a little rain at about the time a lot of growers were setting up to go to flood. People came out ahead if they included NBPT on that preflood fertilizer. It’s still good insurance.”

    Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:

    “We had a couple of weeks of warm weather. The crop turned the corner and actually started looking good after all of this season’s trials and tribulations.

    “However, the trials and tribulations continue. Last night and this morning (6/6) it rained 4 to 12 inches in southwest Louisiana where 75% of the state’s rice is grown. We already had high water in places and this adds to it. A lot of rice is under water and we’re just hoping that we can move the water off as soon as possible.

    “But fields anywhere near bayous may get backwater flooding if they haven’t already. Plenty of water is heading in this direction.

    “At the rice research station’s north farm, it rained 6.4 inches. A gauge a mile or so away had a 9-inch total. The rain moved through quickly and stopped this morning and the sun came out. But, the forecast calls for an 80% chance of rain tomorrow. We’re hoping it’s not a big one.

    “Obviously, we’ve got to move a massive amount of water off these fields and people also are concerned about how that will affect their midseason nitrogen where they’ve already applied it. How much of that fertilizer will they lose when they pump the water off?

     “The key to determining that is when did you apply it? Typically, the crop takes up 75% to 80% of the nitrogen within 3 days of the application. So unless you applied it a day or two before the rain, you’re probably okay. If you haven’t applied it yet, wait until the water is drained off and the flood stabilizes.

    “In places, we’ve started picking up sheath blight and a little leaf blast. Once we get past this water situation, start focusing on disease scouting and fungicides. We’ll probably start finding heads next week in our earliest planted fields.”

    DeWayne Dopslauf, Crop Production Services, Wharton, Texas:

    “A lot of my rice is going to flood. We’re touching up a little with herbicides here and there and applying fertilizer ahead of the flood. Overall, I expect rice acreage to be off 25%.

    “It’s rained here this week, with heavy amounts in places. The biggest totals fell in Fort Bend and Wharton Counties and in the city of Wharton, itself. From 14 to 17 inches fell in less than 8 hours along a narrow band. Areas below U.S. 59 were more under water than I thought they would be this morning (6/6).

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    “This was worse than a hurricane because it came so fast. With Hurricane Harvey, the amounts were spread out over 2 or 3 days. This was a crazy mess. One guy told me on the phone that he was parked in his pickup and couldn’t see anything out the window.

    “When you moved away from the band, the amounts dropped. At my house, 2 inches fell. Around Beaumont, it did rain 6 to 8 inches, but that’s nothing for that area. More rain is coming tomorrow, although it’s not supposed to be as bad.

    “A few of my growers were still planting rice, although after yesterday’s rain, they’re probably finished. In places with sandy soils, growers may have to rebuild parts of their levees.

    “Cotton will be hurt. My biggest fear is that water stood over it in some fields. But now it has a lot of water under it, and with these hotter temperatures, scalding seems likely. These were somewhat iffy stands in certain cases. Fields were already wet in places and stands were kind of skippy. A lot of our cotton acres also have gone into prevented planting.”

    Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist:

    “Based on calls today (6/6), areas in the northern half of Arkansas mostly received light showers, so far, but there are chances for rain tonight and tomorrow.

    “But in the southern half of Arkansas, it’s been raining off and on all day. That’s probably it for any more rice planting in south Arkansas and they were pretty much finished with rice planting in north Arkansas whether or not it rained a lot there.

    “So, we’re essentially through planting rice for 2019. In my calls today, people said that some of their growers were only able to plant 50% of the acres they originally intended to have back in March. Others managed to plant 100%.

    “So, the final percentage of the March projection falls somewhere between those two points. Just ‘ball parking’ it, I suspect that the size of the Arkansas rice crop will be down 20% or more from what we expected before planting started.

    “Lack of rain worked against good weed control in the later planted rice where herbicides weren’t activated. Even in the wave of planting before that, grass was getting a little bigger behind some post-emerge applications.

    “The rain should at least help bring up rice planted in dry soils. Days and days have gone by since a lot of that was planted and we’ve been wasting daylight as it drug on. Nobody wants to flush, which I understand. It’s difficult, time consuming and gets in the way of planting beans. This should allow a lot of farmers to avoid it.

    “With warm temperatures and moisture, things should move fast where seed hadn’t germinated yet, and we could see emergence in 5 to 7 days. Things also will happen in a hurry where rice was planted in the last few weeks. A good deal of that acreage should be closer to going to flood than you might expect.

    “With hot weather and moisture, later fields catch up quickly, so check closely. When it’s ready to go to flood, make sure you’re ready to take it there.

    “This rain will be important for the soybean crop where growers were finally able to work the ground, which dried out the soil. With this rain, they can plant.”

    M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist, Beaumont:

    “Some problems have developed with channeled apple snails burrowing into levees in Brazoria County. Here at the Beaumont Center, we received over 11 inches of rain in May. So far, the season has been abnormally wet.”

    AgFax Rice: Midsouth/Texas is published by AgFax Media LLC
    Owen Taylor, Editorial Director.
    Working-Copy%5B1%5D.jpgThis weekly report is distributed during the cotton production season. It is available to United States residents engaged in cotton farming, field scouting and other qualifying ag professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. Office: 601-992-9488.
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