“We sure don’t need heavy rains right now. At the start of the week, about 35% of the rice in this county was headed and maybe a little more has headed since then. With this hotter weather pattern, rice is really catching up and a good bit of it will be flowering pretty soon. We’ll see how things look early next week.
“A few samples might be cut around July 25-26. A handful of growers had somewhat marginal planting conditions during a really tight window and planted a limited amount of rice in mid to late March. They went with early maturing varieties. That’s actually about normal for when a big part of our rice is planted. Unfortunately, most growers didn’t have that opportunity and the main part of the crop is much later than that.”
Amy Beth Dowdy, ABD Crop Consulting, Dexter, Missouri:
“Everyone has been working around pop-up showers. A farmer just said (7/9) that he made what should be my last herbicide application for the year. I hope showers stay away from that field for at least another hour. Then I’ll know we really do have herbicides behind us.
“Just a few heads are showing, although you really have to look for them. I checked closely for heads on the Fourth of July but didn’t find any. On Sunday (7/7), a few were just poking out.
“Today, I actually came across 2 or 3 in a field where I didn’t expect any heads yet. The rest of the plants were 7 to 10 days away from heading, and that’s an example of the uneven emergence this year, with some plants coming up quickly but others lagging by days or weeks.
“That unevenness is going to follow us all the way through harvest and it could be a catastrophe waiting around the corner. The crop is a mixed bag. I’m very proud of certain fields but also have fields that I don’t even like to think about.”
Wayne Dulaney, Agronomist, Local Seed Co., Clarksdale, Mississippi:
“Most of our rice is to flood, I think. I didn’t see any rice in Tunica County this week that wasn’t at flood, and that part of the crop has been the farthest behind.
“Our very first-planted rice went in at the end of March and in the first few days of April and is probably 50% headed now (7/9). It is really advanced and I’m worried about the effect this intense heat will have on it.
“The later planted rice looks pretty decent and is progressing quickly. In places 3 weeks ago, we had plants in the same paddy that were at 1 leaf and others that were at 4 leaves. These irregular stands tend to be where rice was planted in about a 10-day dry spell at the end of May. Growers had to hurriedly work that ground and ended up with dry spots and wet spots, often within 2 feet of each other.
“Rice emerged quickly where it had moisture but in dry spots the seed had to wait for a rain. People are now trying to judge when to make midseason applications in those fields. I’m recommending that they time nitrogen applications based on when the most advanced plants should receive it.
“You don’t want to set back yield potential on those plants just because they’re running ahead of the others. If younger plants are fertilized a little early, that won’t hurt them.
“Soybeans range from seed still being shipped out to plants at R3 and ready for fungicides. Compared to a typical season, more grass pressure seems to be out there. That may partly get back to using dicamba tips when applying a dicamba-glyphosate tankmix. The coverage wasn’t as good, so the glyphosate didn’t work as well on grass.
“Several guys clearly killed pigweed but they are coming back now with glyphosate to take out grass escapes.
“Most of our corn is past tassel and we should see some denting late this week. Corn either looks really good or obviously doesn’t. In certain fields, it also may look good simply because it’s tall enough that you can’t see the weak spots farther into the field. Those were apparent when plants were shorter.
“When you see numbers drop on the yield monitor at harvest, try to remember what those parts of the field actually looked like in May.
“I told a guy today that his corn on one side of the road would probably average 220 bu/acre while it might reach 150 on the other side. Planting dates, emergence and other factors have made huge differences this year.”
M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist, Beaumont:
“It’s been hot, with hot nights, so our farmers are a bit concerned about panicle blight. However, I haven’t received any reports of it so far. No reports of rice planthopper, either, but we did obtain a Section 2ee for Tenchu 20SG for this exotic species. Now we have 2 tools to control this pest –Endigo ZC and Tenchu 20SG. Reports are coming in about heavy rice stink bug populations in places.”
Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist:
“Things are moving along and more heads are popping out. With the weather now, disease is developing. Sheath blight is becoming more obvious and blast has turned up in places on varieties that are very susceptible.
“Later fields are still going to flood. In certain spots where rice recently went to flood, we’re contending with big grass that people are having trouble killing.
“Overall, I suspect we’re 18% headed. The very last rice planted – to the best of my knowledge – went in on about July 2. It was a case where the grower didn’t want to take the prevented planting option.”
Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist:
“More and more rice is starting to head at least a little. Numerous people have called about fungicide timing for smut. Most of the time, they’re going to spray too late, based on what they tell me. They seem concerned about treating too early, but studies indicate that the best preventive activity comes from spraying pretty early. Going 2 weeks before heading is optimal timing.