Arkansas Rice: Harvest Starts, Cautionary Notes On Acephate

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Rice harvest 2019 is underway. That’s not to say it’s running full speed ahead, but we’re beginning. By now, about 10% of our rice should have reached 20% grain moisture or lower. Several fields are at least at 19%, based on samples that have been pulled.

No firm yield reports have surfaced from minimal amount of acres harvested so far, but most of the rice out there looks good.

The Gulf Coast cannot say the same, where high temperatures and disease pressure left much to be desired in terms of yields. In Arkansas, conditions were milder, so the outlook is good, although it’s not in the bin yet.

The extended forecast of upper 80s and low 90s looks positive for finishing up much of this crop. Minimal rainfall amounts are forecasted. But with plenty of partly cloudy days, anything is possible.

Partly cloudy and higher humidity may slow the drying process as well. Now we start the waiting game until fields are ready.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Acephate in Rice

Rice stink bug pressure this year has been steady, which has prompted multiple conversations about what products will work best and provide some residual control.

During these discussions, acephate (Orthene, among other products) has been brought up more than once. Acephate is not labeled in rice.

Keep in mind that multiple barges have been rejected at foreign ports in the past due to the detection of acephate or its metabolites.

In 2018, we looked at the degradation of acephate in rice at multiple foliar timings. While acephate does appear to break down fairly rapidly in rice, detectable levels of acephate are still present a month after harvest. These same trends were observed for methamidophos, the main metabolite of acephate.

We have plenty of late rice this year that has just begun to head or will start to head in the next 10 days, and these fields will likely see high rice stink bug pressure.

Don’t be tempted to shift to acephate. We need to stick to our labeled products, such as Warrior II (or similar generics) and Mustang Maxx. The bottom line: acephate is not labeled in rice, and the use of this product jeopardizes the Arkansas rice industry. Period.

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