Rice – Making Real Progress – More Coastal Heading, More Midsouth Flooding – AgFax

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


More rice is heading in the coastal belt of Texas and southwest Louisiana. Fungicides are going out on a wider basis in that part of our coverage area.

Leaf blast has turned up in Arkansas and Texas.

Potassium/potash deficiency has become apparent in places. It’s a nutrient deficiency that can be corrected this late in the season. See comments by Jarrod Hardke and Dustin Harrell.

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Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist:

“We’re already finding large numbers of rice stink bugs (RSB) congregating on field edges where rice will likely start heading first. I’m thinking those numbers will be high this year since we also found big RSB counts in cereal rye cover crops this spring.

“Also, it seems like native grasses got off to a good start. Where we’ve swept some of that vegetation, the RSB counts are as high as I’ve found in a while.

“We’ve hit green ring on a bunch of rice and node elongation is in progress, and we might actually see heads on the very earliest rice 10 days from now (6/19). That said, the bulk of the crop was planted later and is farther away from heading.”

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

“Shane Zhou (Extension Plant Pathologist) identified some pretty severe leaf blast in a field of medium-grain Jupiter near the Beaumont Center. Conditions for blast have been somewhat ideal with all this rainy weather and parts of fields with little or no water on them. That field of Jupiter was not far along in development. Normally, blast comes in later, so farmers should be checking closely for it now. (Editor’s Note: Connect to Zhou’s report in our Also Of Note  section.)

 “I am seeing fairly high populations of rice water weevil. Farmers who treated seed with an insecticide should be in good shape. In places, farmers are having to make tough decisions about when to apply preflood nitrogen where soils are moist. We had a dry spell for 7 to 10 days, then about 2.5 inches of rain fell here on Monday at the Beaumont Center.”

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

“A small part of our rice crop has been flooded for quite some time and is at green ring. But the majority of our crop is really just going to flood. Beyond that, we have quite a bit of rice still at the two-leaf stage. One field was actually planted yesterday (6/17) where the ground had been leveled.”

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

“Except for a few fields, all of our rice has been flooded. We have a clean crop. Last year, we had more grass than anyone would want to see. Our rice is really yellow today (6/17) due to ALS applications. Otherwise, it looks good. It’s clean and weeds are dead.”

Keith Collins, Extension Agent, Richland, Ouachita and Franklin Parishes, Rayville, Louisiana:

“Our first rice went to flood at least 2 weeks ago (from 6/17), but that was a fairly small part of the crop. Those were some of the few fields where it was dry enough to plant early. But the majority of our paddy rice went in later and isn’t ready for the flood yet.

 “A tremendous amount of our expected rice crop shifted to prevented planting. I doubt if anyone has a total yet but it was easily thousands of acres that were taken out in this part of the state. May 25 was the cutoff date for prevented planting and a good deal of ground in my area still had 2 to 3 feet of water on it. Down in Catahoula Parish, I’m told that backwater covered even more acres that were supposed to go into rice or cotton.”

Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist:

“The majority of the crop does look good and it’s moving along but not quite as rapidly as you’d expect at this point in the year. We’ve had this ebbing and flowing of temperatures and winds, plus overcast skies.

“Some fields also have a lighter-than-optimal appearance. I don’t want to say they’re yellow but the plants aren’t as dark as you’d expect. We’ve seen this before in seasons with yo-yo weather patterns. The temptation is to immediately throw nitrogen at the problem. My best advice is to fight that temptation. The weather will shift to more normal conditions soon enough and in 3 to 5 days you’ll see a magical color change and rice will take off again.

“But if it’s looking a little questionable and then suddenly takes a dive, something else is going on. But don’t panic over a subtle color difference. With unstable weather, this isn’t unusual.

“Weed control in the early rice looks pretty good but we’re still fighting battles in part of the later crop.

“We’re now seeing a bit of nutrient deficiency caused by that extended wet stretch in the winter and into early spring. With that much water, you expect to lose some fertilizer and you’ll see symptoms in weaker spots. Where this is happening, we’re finding potash deficiency and potential sulfur deficiency.

“Typically, potash deficiency is easy to identify, even looking at a photo. But don’t base application decisions on that. Take a couple of extra days and pull diagnostic tissue samples. Sample in both good and bad areas so you can see numerical differences between those parts of the field.

“Sampling helps confirm that you do, in fact, need to spend $20 to $25 an acre on additional fertilizer.  With potash, in particular, you have time to correct those levels.

“We’ve had our first report of leaf blast for 2019. It was found in a field of Titan in Randolph County. Yeshi Wamishe (Extension Rice Plant Pathologist) and I have noticed that the first case of leaf blast every year always turns up during this week. It’s like clockwork.

“If the initial weather forecast for this week had held true, I would have been more concerned about leaf blast right now. Starting on Sunday (6/16), 3 to 5 inches of rain were predicted, but most areas only got a sprinkling. Rain is in the forecast again tonight (6/19), unfortunately with a risk of high winds.

“Wind, in general, has been delaying things where growers want to take rice to flood. It’s held them up on herbicides, but it’s also been windy enough to keep people from flying on fertilizer for fear of streaking.”

Gary Bradshaw, Independent Agronomist, Bradshaw Agricultural Consulting, Richmond, Texas:

“Some of my oldest rice fields are fully headed out and those clients may be able to start cutting samples around July 19-20. With a couple of small exceptions, the rest of my rice is in early boot. So, the bulk of my crop is within a two-week window in terms of development.

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“Our last fertilizer applications have been going out on hybrids and we’ve done quite a bit of fungicide work over the last 10 days (from 6/20). Those are preventive applications in most situations. The varieties we’re raising are fairly susceptible to kernel smut, so we want protection in place, but the applications cover other things, too.

“I don’t want to wait for disease to come through because you don’t get the full benefit of fungicides then, plus I don’t want to be caught by rain if we do need to treat. I always try to make that treatment decision 7 to 10 days before heading.

“Where fields are heading now, stink bugs are very light.

“Today is supposed to be one of the hottest days so far this year. With all the humidity, the heat index will reach 112, according to the forecast, although that’s really not out of the ordinary here in June. We’re into a typical summer pattern with stray showers around and maybe a general rain every 7 to 10 days. Over the weekend, 1.5 to 2 inches fell in a lot of places.”

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

“Most of our rice in southwest Louisiana is beginning to head. Disease control is the focus now and we’re in the middle of applying fungicides at a fast and furious pace. I’ve seen some blast and a little sheath blight but these were isolated instances, nothing widespread.

“A couple of people have called about potassium deficiency, which they noticed as rice began heading, and it’s showing up in lighter ground. Potassium is one of the few nutrients that you can apply this late and make a difference in yields. If symptoms show up, apply 20 to 30 units of potassium.

“A quick reminder: our annual rice field day is next Wednesday, June 26, at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station (1373 Caffey Road, Rayne). Field tours start at 7:15 a.m. We’ll also have a poster session and indoor presentations. Topics include weed control, variety and hybrid development, disease and insect management, sustainable production and nutrient management. Lunch will be served.”

Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist:

“Midseason applications are going out on our earliest rice. People are still trying to spray a little rice before putting it to flood. Rain came through last night (6/19) in parts of the Delta, so we’ll have less-than-ideal conditions for preflood nitrogen applications in certain spots.

“But most of our rice is into flood now and joints are starting to move, so we’re fast approaching the reproductive period on a substantial part of this crop. Drift complaints have all but died down. We received one call this week about drift injury in a field of young rice in north Mississippi, and that’s been it.

“USDA says that 2% of our rice is headed, although I have no idea where that would be. Some of the earliest rice I know of this year hasn’t headed yet.”

Automatic fungicide applications for sheath blight in rice are highly discouraged due to the potential development of fungicide resistance and non-profitability. Here are tips for making sure you really need to treat.
Rice leaf blast is right on time. Historically, leaf blast starts between the 2nd and 3rd week of June. The dew in the mornings should be enough to initiate spore germination.
Prices slip for both long grain and medium/short grain from the previous period.
The research board will hold a public meeting after the field day at the station administrative office.
Timely and proper management of rice blast is the key to minimizing yield and quality losses caused by this devastating disease:
Featured topics include row rice nitrogen management, soybean rotation for row rice weed control, new soybean technologies and variety selection, and disease, insect and weed control.

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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