“Corn is at early dent to 75% milk line. It rained again yesterday – 4 to 6 inches in places and 1 to 2 inches in others. With that rain, growers will irrigate corn one more time and then stop. Corn is right on schedule.
“Our early soybeans look really good, too. With the rain, a little more disease developed than normal. Insect pressure is low and no worms have developed yet. I do expect a moth flight, probably next week as they move from corn into these latest beans.
“Late soybeans continue to struggle with all the rain. I saw fields today that were planted last week and then went under water before seedlings could emerge. Plenty of small plants are out there that don’t have much yield potential. Everything else should do okay, but beans will be the short crop. One supplier said he thinks all of his customers will pay out this year but there won’t be much gravy.”
Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist:
“A good deal more rice is heading. With more heading, rice stink bugs also have blown up in portions of the state this week, and they were pretty fierce in places. Treatments have been going out, mostly pyrethroids, and the applications have been taking care of them.
“Jeff Gore (Extension Entomologist) received his first call this year about billbugs in row rice. People found them in places last year, and he’s checking out this latest report.
“The last bit of rice probably went to flood this week – our ultra-late-planted fields. In spots, sheath blight is moving up the plants.
“A quick reminder: our rice field day here at Stoneville will be on August 8 and will start at 3:30 p.m. The event will include a field tour, industry reports and overviews on research projects. A reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres will follow at the Delta Council building.
“On a side note, an educational poster is available that emphasizes the amount of damage headed rice sustains due to paraquat drift. This happens too frequently when growers desiccate soybeans ahead of harvest and paraquat drifts into headed rice. The poster was jointly developed by groups in industry, ag retailing and Extension, among others.
“This seems to be a problem largely unique to Mississippi. Many people don’t realize that this drift can still injure rice after fields are drained, and yield losses can be substantial.”
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:
“A good deal of rice will be drained this weekend, probably the majority of the crop in southwest Louisiana.
“While Hurricane Barry didn’t cause widespread flooding, we’re seeing more wind damage than I expected, particularly in later planted fields that were flowering when the storm came through. The rain and wind disrupted pollination where flowers were ready and also bruised kernels.
“Overall, more blanking occurred than people might realize. It’s not a complete wipeout by any means, but rice sustained some degree of hidden damage. In our more southern parishes, it didn’t rain as much. But between the rain that did fall and the storm’s wind, we can expect partial blanking. However, you won’t see it unless you’re in the field and closely checking heads.
“Damage will vary, depending on the field and where plants were in the reproductive stage. In spots, rice sustained significant yield losses, but less so in other areas.
“Flooding also took a toll. According to one estimate, St. Landry Parish lost 750 acres to flooding in the hardest-hit area and yields were hurt on another 1,250 acres there.
“I mentioned last week that a small amount of rice had been harvested where growers planted a handful of acres in mid-February. Yields, I’m told, were in the mid-40s (barrels/acre). Again, that’s a small part of the crop. The bulk of harvest in this part of the state will begin in the next couple of weeks (from 7/25).
“When growers decide when to start harvest, they will have to adjust to variable stands across a wide part of the crop down here. Uneven emergence left us with a range of plant sizes, and that’s carried through to maturity and harvest planning.
“People are asking when they should drain those fields. We’re advising them to drain when the bulk of the rice is ready. Don’t hold off until that later-emerged rice has fully matured. If you wait for it to finish, you jeopardize milling and quality with the more mature rice.”
Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist:
“Heading continues full swing. Major concerns include rice stink bugs (RSB) and disease development. RSB pressure is mixed, with high numbers in places and very low counts in others. So, scouting remains critical.
“On the disease side, sheath blight remains our big concern. Once we’re past 50% heading and the upper three leaves are still clean, we’ve outrun any yield loss. However, if sheath blight is widespread and seems aggressive, an application may be warranted around that time to protect stalk integrity.
“This round of cool weather is great, and we should remain warm enough to avoid any serious issues. These lower temperatures will likely slow disease development. Unfortunately, cooler weather also will slow crop development, although the net effect may only be a day’s delay.
“Take note, though, that rice sometimes requires a bit of time to rebound after an unusually cool spell. So, we can’t know exactly how it will respond once things warm up again. The last 2 weeks of July are supposed to be our hottest period, but 2019 pitches us one curveball after another. It’s now starting to feel like knuckleballs are dancing all over the place.”
M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist, Beaumont:
“A significant part of our rice is heading or beyond heading. The last estimate was about 80%, although that number will likely be higher when the next report is posted on the Texas Rice Crop Survey website.