Rice – More Midsouth Rice Heading – AgFax

    Rice heads at sunrise. Photo: University of Arkansas

    Owen Taylor, Editor | David Bennett, Contributing Editor

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


    More heading has started in the Midsouth in the earlier fields.

    Fungicide applications are going out on a wider basis. No big blowups are being reported.

    Rice stink bug activity has picked up in parts of Texas.

    From our sponsor…



    Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist:

    “A fair number of heads are popping up in our oldest rice, with most of that in Bolivar and Sunflower Counties. USDA estimates that 15% of our crop is heading, although I suspect it’s more like 10% (as of 7/2). The bulk of our rice is about 3 weeks after the flood, but then we still have guys struggling to move rice to flood.

    “I’ve seen a good deal of yellow rice in the last 5 or 6 days due to potash or sulfur deficiency. Most of that has now been addressed with applications of ammonium sulfate or potash.

    “Rice water weevil (RWW) scarring has been the main subject of calls lately. People have been taking later fields to flood, so RWW have been moving into that part of the crop. These calls have kind of ebbed and flowed this season as rice from different planting periods went to flood.

    “The crop is sure spread out. I was at a farm taking photos of heading rice and the farmer said, ‘Thank goodness we’re close to the end…but that’s just in one field.’ Like plenty of farmers, he might have heading rice where he squeezed in any early planting, but he also has fields that were planted late and won’t be to that point for a while.”

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

    “We have had a period of really hot weather lately including high night time temperatures. When that coincides with heading, it can set things up for panicle blight. Certain varieties are more susceptible than others, but you can’t do much about it otherwise.

    “But with the heat, a good deal of our later planted rice is developing quickly and partly catching up with the early fields.

    “Very high populations of rice stink bug (RSB) have been observed in Brazoria and Fort Bend Counties. So, scout closely for this critter. Rice is most susceptible to RSB during heading and milk stages. Applications for RSB are complicated by the prediction for more rain this week. It’s a tough decision – spray now and risk the treatment washing off or do nothing immediately and wait until after the rain.”

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

    “Our rice looks good. Late-boot fungicide applications are going out this week in places. By the end of this week, I expect we will see heads somewhere in the first-planted fields. A few may already be out there now. This crop has really moved fast. Typically, we might have a few heads by the Fourth of July, although I didn’t think that would happen this year.

    “But based on how things look today (7/2), that seems likely. We found heads last year by the Fourth of July, and I guess it just depends on how temperatures trended from late March to now.

    “With the rain patterns this year, much of our corn has only been irrigated once. The majority has tasseled out and a good portion is at brown silk. The earliest corn isn’t too far from dent. Corn looks good, and even the young fields appear to be pollinating well.

    “In soybeans, the R3 fungicide applications have been going out in places. I’m really not finding insects to speak of. I spoke with a colleague today who’s in the south Delta and he’s not finding worms or insects, either. Those comments apply to the early-planted beans. But we do have a significant amount of late beans, so we might see pressure build late in the season like in a trap crop.

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    “This has been a different kind of year. Usually in the first week of July we’re begging for a rain. Right now, though, we have moisture.”

    DeWayne Dopslauf, Crop Production Services, Wharton, Texas:

    “Fungicides have started going out and a little PD fertilizer is still being applied, too. Rice is starting to head just a bit. So far, I have only one field where the grower is spraying for rice stink bugs.

    “Overall, 10% or less of my rice is heading. I do have a few stragglers but that’s kind of the average right now (7/2).

    “Cotton is running a little behind but it’s finally turned around and is shaping up. Corn and milo look pretty good and milo is turning color.

    “Across our crops, a portion of acres did go to prevented planting. One family operation intended to plant 900 acres of cotton but ended up with only 200. Heavy rains several weeks ago took a toll, too. In one area, rice was up, growing well and looked good. But with those rains, a couple of bayous backed into fields and took out that rice. It’s pretty much been raining ever since then, although it has been fairly calm over the last couple of days. However, more rain is supposed to come off the gulf.”

    Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist:

    “The earliest rice is right on time and heads should be popping out on the Fourth of July, which is normal. On the other end of things, a handful of fields were just planted a week ago (from 7/2).

    “The majority of our ‘late’ rice is just going to flood. So, the crop is spread across a big part of the calendar but mostly was planted in distinct chunks of time. When windows suddenly opened, people pushed hard.

    “Conditions are now pretty conducive to disease development – primarily blast and sheath blight. Enough breezes are stirring to dry out part of the average canopy but we still have situations and conditions that favor disease. This week, the forecast carries a 40% chance of rain every day, and this is a very unstable weather pattern.

    “Yesterday and today, these little bursts of red suddenly appeared on the radar screen, like you’d fired buckshot. You didn’t necessarily see a weather front or system, just unexpected rain with a quarter of an inch here and there. Again, these breezes are helping but we still have lingering moisture from showers.

    “With that disease potential, scout for sheath blight and spray as needed. Don’t fall back on automatic treatments. Our threshold is based on the susceptibility of the crop – weather, variety and such – and the percentage of stops where you find sheath blight. But remember that sheath blight is only a concern when it threatens the upper canopy.

    “Also, you can find sheath blight in a high percentage of stops but a treatment isn’t warranted as long it stays low. A fungicide’s efficacy lasts a limited time, so delaying a treatment also extends protection later into the season.

    “Blast is another thing altogether because we’re taking a preventive approach. So far, very few reports of leaf blast have filtered in. Also, with the earlier planted rice any chance of blast developing is pretty low in fields with no history of the disease and low-risk environments.

    “Risks increase, though, where there’s a problem keeping ground flooded. Even this year with all the rain, we still have places where pumps can’t keep up. Risk further increase where adjoining tree lines block air movement and canopies remain wetter longer. That can be compounded when a blast-susceptible variety was planted.

    “Be mindful, too, that you may not find leaf blast but could be hit later by neck blast. Some varieties are simply more prone to neck blast than leaf blast, so it can sneak up on you. And when neck blast hits, you can’t do anything about it.

    “So, understand what triggers blast – leaf and neck – and weigh your relative risk. Where you have earlier fields at risk, you might slip by with one fungicide application. With later at-risk fields, consider taking an aggressive approach with blast prevention.

    “Growers and crop advisors are lining up a good many applications now for false smut and kernel smut, and that’s on yet a different timetable. With smut, you see the biggest bang for your buck by going early. Efficacy steadily declines as rice moves into late boot and the flag leaf is out. Once the boot splits, it’s too late to gain any advantage with a treatment. Optimal timing for smut is before the flag leaf is all the way out – roughly 10 to 14 days before heading.”

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

    “Our earliest rice is at boot and the youngest is going to flood. Overall, our rice is in about 3 different stages. With this last rice, we’re just glad we were able to plant it and take it to flood.

    “A bunch of rain fell through here a week ago (from 7/2) and then again this past Sunday, so we had plenty of moisture when we sprayed and the herbicides appear to have worked pretty well.

    “It also was enough rain to bring up beans that had been planted up to that point. We’re still planting soybeans this week. We have a good dry run and I think our growers will wrap it up in the next 2 to 3 days. Farmers are rolling out polypipe and starting irrigation where beans are blooming.

    “We’re spraying the very first soybean field this year for stink bugs. Mostly, we’re only seeing sub-threshold levels. We’re now waiting for that big July corn earworm moth flight. Usually, we pick up the first worms in beans around July 9 to July 14. Overall, our soybeans range from just being planted to R5.

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    “Corn has been watered 3 or 4 times and we’re a couple of weeks out from deciding whether to water it one more time. A few late fields are just about to tassel.”

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

    “About half of our rice is at midseason. It’s been a ‘grass year’ and there’s no way around that. You think you have it under control for a couple of days and then here comes the grass again. It’s been tough in places.

    “Not much disease. We sprayed rice water weevils on late hybrid rice that was a little thin. Other than that, we haven’t done much of anything. It’s been quiet.”

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

    “Surprisingly, rice is very clean, with few weed issues, and we’re fortunate in that respect. We have rice at three stages and some will start heading this week. The thing I like about rice is that it’s so forgiving – you can start with a mess and end up clean…sometimes. The first 350 acres of hybrid rice we planted is heading now, and I’m picking up a lot of rice stink bugs in it.

    “Things can change, of course, but I’m very pleased with how the crop is moving this week.”

    Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist:

    “We’re pulling rice water weevil samples in plots we took to flood about 3 weeks ago, and the weevil numbers are moderately high. We’ve been seeing a lot of adult activity to this point. If you’re also 3 weeks into flood, take a look at your roots and see what kind of weevil feeding is going on.

    “I don’t know of any rice that’s heading but extremely high numbers of rice stink bugs (RSB) are staging in barnyard grass on field edges. If you have any of the early rice, be prepared to make an application when it starts heading and then check behind it 5 days later. That’s how high RSB numbers are, and it may take two applications to get them under control in some of those first fields.

    “With all these pop-up showers that are developing, include an adjuvant when you spray RSB. Our data is pretty clear that an adjuvant helps with rain fastness, and it doesn’t matter what kind of adjuvant you use – non-ionic, crop oil or whatever. The addition of that adjuvant could save you money with this kind of weather pattern.”

    “Fifteen years of patience and hard work have paid off,” said Ken LaGrande, founder of LaGrande Family Foods Group and CEO of Sun Valley Rice, the company that made the sale.
    It seems very likely that prevented planting totals this year will surpass previous records. The futures market is a forward-looking market and likely anticipates some downward adjustment in rice acres this fall. This could begin when the first FSA certified acreage report is released August 10.
    While already mentioned in an earlier update, more rice reaching midseason has potassium (K) deficiency showing up All the rain has likely contributed to this situation.

    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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