“Just enough fell to incorporate the herbicides we sprayed yesterday, then we could still keep planting. That doesn’t happen often.
“We have some two-leaf rice, and it looks good. But I’m also seeing places where rice and grass came up at about the same time or maybe the grass is a little older. We’ll have to be selective with herbicides in those cases.
“As things look statewide, we’ll plant something more than 150,000 acres, although I’m not sure how much above that to expect, maybe up to 175,000 acres.
“Hopefully, the rice that’s up won’t be dinged by all the herbicides that have been going out on soybeans over the last couple of days. The way the wind is blowing, I expect that some drift reports will turn up next week. But where people are simultaneously planting rice and soybeans this week, the injury won’t be an immediate concern.”
Blake Foust, Consultant, Southern Heritage Cotton, LLC, Forrest City, Arkansas
“Probably 50% of our rice has been planted, I think, but how much rice we’ll finally have is a moving target right now (5/5).
“Everyone wants to plant more rice, mostly on heavy ground. The weather has delayed things, but I think some growers will keep planting rice this year up to June 1. At times, they’re finishing up planting rice in a field and then decide that they’ll plant the adjoining field in rice since they’re already there.
“My farmers have planted a pretty good chunk of row rice, and probably 40% of my rice will be on rows this year. A good deal of that rice is up, too. Some farmers with a history of growing rice think they can make it work okay. It’s easier to raise row rice and you don’t need a guy who knows how to manage water – just pump it through the polypipe.
“Others want to move into rice this year but don’t have the equipment to set up levees and also don’t have that guy who knows how to manage the water, and he’s necessary in paddy production. For them, row rice is the only option if they want to have rice in their crop mix in 2020.”
Scott Holder, Helena Chemical Co., Cleveland, Mississippi
“We’re halfway finished with rice planting, I think. With another five or six days of good conditions, we should pretty much wrap it up.
“Rain caused significant delays, and growers had to work up a lot of ground before they could plant. I don’t have a firm idea yet on how rice acres will run, but I suspect they’ll at least be up 10% to 15%.
“Some growers are planting about the same number of acres they usually plant, but a few who haven’t raised any rice in several years will have 200 to 300 acres this year.
“The weather really limited how much corn we finally had. If conditions had been dry in mid-March, most of our intended corn would have been planted. But it kept raining, then oil demand dropped and ethanol plants started closing. So, people backed away from corn after a certain point.
“Some of those corn acres went to rice, but most will end up in soybeans. We’re maybe halfway finished with planting soybeans. With another week like this, we will be way down the line with them.
“We missed a rain today (5/5), which is good. Rain is in the forecast again over the weekend, but by then we will need it.”
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley
“A good deal of rice went to flood over this past week.
“One of the main questions people ask at this point is how soon to expect a color change in the rice plant after the nitrogen goes out. Under good conditions, it takes about three days for rice to take on the darker green color. But if the plant has been in some kind of stress, it has to move past that stress before you see any effect from the nitrogen.
“Causes for stress vary by location and season. If the rice has been under water or the field has some underlying nutrient issue beyond nitrogen, that can affect things. Also, if herbicides slightly injured the plant, that delays rice greening up.
“Again, the plant has to recover first.
“Also, watch for algae after large applications of nitrogen and phosphorous go out. With warm conditions, algae blooms can happen quickly. Make sure the bloom doesn’t cover up the rice. It forms a mat, cuts out much of the sunlight and can kill rice plants. It’s essential to closely manage water. Applying a copper-sulfate solution will break up the algae, too, but that’s an extra cost.