Arkansas Rice: Time to Get to Flood

Young rice at flood. ©Debra L Ferguson

As of Tuesday, we reportedly hit 85% planting progress. Scattered rains continued around the state this week keeping  things interesting. As one consultant put it, “I waited out one rain in my truck and as soon as I got the middle of the field the next one caught me out there.”

South of I-40 we can say we’re planted up. The remaining ground to be planted is in the northeast, primarily along a line to the north of Jonesboro. Over the past week, rice seed has been slung every which way including drill, plane, and buggy. Some of it isn’t pretty, but it’s planted (sort of).

In some instances where rice was flown on mud with no way to manage water, seed will not germinate and survive and it’s not worked in and given a drink. Planting will, and should, continue into the first week of June. After that point the risk outweighs the reward, especially in the northern part of the state.

The next 10 days call for lots of sun and temperatures in the low 80s climbing in to the low 90s. It’s about time and this rice is ready to see it. Be prepared for fields to really take off now. We’ve been doing a lot of waiting, now we need to run with the rice and not get behind on spraying, fertilizing and going to flood.

Things are going to move very fast now, whether you’re still planting, or trying to get to flood. Be sure to take a minute to think before you act! We’re already seeing some preventable mistakes happen. We can’t move forward by going backwards. Give us a call if you think we can help.

Time to Get to Flood!

Based on DD50 Program enrollment, a third of rice acres planted should be attempting to go to flood this week (Table 1).  Another third should be ready to go the next week. Remember we need to flood rice based on growth stage and not by height.

These fields are beyond the 4-5 leaf stage and ready for nitrogen and water as soon as you can let them have. Flood’em if you got’em!

Visit here to access the nitrogen rate calculator.

Table 1. Percent of acres reaching the end of the optimum preflood nitrogen window by week (based on fields enrolled in DD50 Program).

Week                                     Percent of Acres
May 11 to May 17                          0.5%
May 18 to May 24                          4.0%
May 25 to May 31                         34.1%
June 1 to June 7                            36.4%
June 8 to June 14                          23.5%
June 15 to June 21                         1.3%

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