Rice – Coastal Harvest Fast Approaching, More Midsouth Fields Going To Flood – AgFax

    Rice irrigated with poly pipe. ©Debra L Ferguson

    Owen Taylor, Editor

    Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Rice, sponsored by the Southern rice team of Corteva Agriscience.


    The coastal rice crop continues to progress, maybe even faster than might be expected. The earliest harvest could begin in less than three weeks in parts of Texas and southwest Louisiana. The region also could be on track for more ratoon acres, barring some drastic event.

    Great growing weather has settled over much of the Rice Belt. Conditions are dry, sunny and hot across a wide swath of our coverage area. With all this solar energy, plants are humming along, and drier weather will help suppress disease.

    More Midsouth rice is going to flood. The one hitch right now is lack of rainfall to help bring along late-planted fields that haven’t gone to flood yet.

    Rice water weevil pressure has built in parts of Arkansas. See comments by Gus Lorenz.

    From our sponsor…



    Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Ventress, Louisiana

    “We have some late production rice that is up to a stand now. It had been in crawfish, so the farmers had to do a little field work ahead of planting.

    “A small amount of early-planted production rice is at flood, and it’s at a four-inch panicle (as of 6/15). On the older-planted rice, we’re not at the boot stage yet. I have some row rice that’s at about the one-inch panicle stage.

    “My oldest soybeans are probably at R5, and we’ve already put out fungicides on those fields. A lot of our other soybeans are just at R3 and R4, and those younger fields will receive a fungicide this week.

    “We almost had a couple of trap crop situations where we’ve found stink bugs, but redbanded stink bugs have been pretty scarce. That’s going to change, but we’re thankful for Mother Nature’s reprieve.

    “We do have some dryland beans with shallow root systems because they were so wet for so long. Now, we’ve been dry for the last week or two. With their shallow root systems, those soybeans will start showing stress soon.

    “My oldest corn is dented with a 20% starch line.

    “Most of my corn is nowhere near any threat from disease, but I have had to treat a very few acres of my oldest corn for southern rust. It’s like a race to see if this fungus will develop and take leaf area away from the crop before the plant completes kernel development.”


    Tyler Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas

    “About 90% of our rice has gone to flood, and we’re doing pretty well with most of the rice. The remaining 10% would be our problem fields. Growers had to deal with rough planting conditions or too little rain fell to activate herbicides. Other unfortunate things happened along the way. 

    “Some of that rice was planted in poor conditions, but we had to push ahead and get seed in the ground. A few of my growers were still planting rice last week. Rice is all over the board. But on the positive side, a good deal more of our rice is to flood than not.

    “I think we’ve done a really good job overlaying residuals and gaining grass control in rice. Every time we applied a residual this season, it seemed to rain right away, so herbicides were incorporated. Our preflood treatments have worked really well, so far.

    “With the dry weather now, it is kind of concerning that we still have fields that haven’t gone to flood yet. The ground is cracking in places and grass is coming through. But we should be in a pretty good spot once we take care of those last applications and start pumping.

    From our sponsor…


    “Overall, rice started trending in the right direction this week. So far, we’re thrilled with the FullPage 7321 and 7521. We had great herbicide activation, too.

    “We have a lot of late-planted soybeans. The massive challenge is gaining control of all the weeds. The state’s May 25 cutoff on dicamba is really killing us, aside from the court decision that took dicamba off the table everywhere else. A lot of my beans weren’t planted until just as they announced that decision. Farmers were pressed to plant rice and cotton, plus spray corn, so beans kind of sat on the back burner.

    “Pre-tassel nitrogen started in corn this week, plus Afla-Guard is going out where growers want it.”


    Hank Jones, RHJ Ag Services, Winnsboro, Louisiana

    “In rice, we’re past green ring on most of the crop and are moving to green ring on much of the rest. A few acres of paddy rice are just going to flood and we’re putting water down permanently with row rice.

    “The biggest issue we’ve had in the row rice has been in fields with heavy clay. We could move water down fields but not across them. That left us with some light streaking where there wasn’t enough water to soak in the early urea. We’ve made supplemental applications ahead of some of the rains to make sure we can get those streaks out.

    “No major disease threats in rice so so far, and I think I have some of the cleanest rice this year, too. Rains have been well timed, as well.

    “Redbanded stink bugs (RBSB) have started appearing in soybeans. The older the beans get, the more RBSB I find. I’m not doing any widespread sprays yet because they’re not at threshold, but RBSB are certainty around. It’s early in the year for me to be seeing so many, but I expect to have a large influx here in about 10 days. I don’t want to scare anybody, but it’s probably going to be a bad situation for late-planted beans in July through September.”


    Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist

    “We’re finding heavy rice water weevil (RWW) pressure in many areas. I won’t say it’s the worst I’ve ever seen, but it’s close. A lot of fields went to flood last week and some more will follow along this week. As they put those fields to flood, large RWW populations are moving into them.

    “Depending on how long ago the rice was planted and which seed treatment was used, a foliar application might be necessary. If you have adults and 60% scarring, make a foliar application for adults to knock down those numbers.

    “In row rice, we’re seeing billbug adults moving into the fields, feeding on the rice and laying eggs. We’re encouraging people with row rice to scout the upper part of fields for adults. That’s where you’ll find billbugs, not so much in the lower parts of the field that are either muddy or flooded.

    “Increased row rice acreage has brought the billbug into the spotlight, and we now recognize it as a major pest in that production system. We’re still trying to figure out this insect, but early research shows that diamides provide a better level of control compared to Cruiser or NipsIt, which are neonics.

    “We’ve seen a 15- to 20-bushel yield increase with a diamide in these cases. We think using a seed treatment combination of diamides, Fortenza or Dermacor, with Cruiser or NipsIt will be a critical part of controlling this pest. Any combination of a diamide and a neonicotinoid should work.

    “We’ve been studying foliar applications for billbugs but haven’t pinned down how to time treatments and which products are effective. Frankly, almost nothing is known about billbugs in rice. We’re working from the ground up, studying its biology and looking at different control options.

    “In soybeans, blister beetles are popping up in places. Scout for them. They’ll defoliate a spot the size of the truck hood or even the size of a truck, given the chance. They’ll eat every leaf off the plants, then move to another spot. They’re prolific. When you see one blister beetle, you’re just as likely to find 10,000.”


    Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist

    “More than 50% of our rice is flooded now (6/16). We’ve had several problems, the biggest being Roundup drift damage. When that court ruling took dicamba out of the system, people pushed to make those applications on soybeans before the final cutoff date. Roundup went in the tank with it, and maybe some applications weren’t made in ideal conditions.

    “So, we’ve spent time this week taking calls and looking at fields with drift injury. We checked one 300-acre field in the north Delta that was affected. That rice was still pretty young and hadn’t gone to flood yet.

    “The difficult part is that a lot of this rice should go to flood now or very soon. With these ideal growing conditions, plants have moved fast. Once the flood goes on, the rice might not respond well. The hard thing is deciding if you want to fertilize and flood it, then spray rice that’s already been thrown off by herbicide injury. In other words, can you spray that injured rice without killing it?

    “My advice through all of this has been to go ahead and fertilize and take the rice to flood. From there, see how the rice responds and whether it greens up again. If it’s looking healthy, then you can ease down the water and spray it.

    “Keep in mind that you’re also fertilizing and watering weeds when you go to flood like this. That probably means you’ll contend with bigger weeds and grass when you are able to make a post-flood herbicide application.”


    Wayne Dulaney, Agronomist, Local Seed Co., Clarksdale, Mississippi

    “Some of our rice right now (6/16) is pretty late and is just coming up. But for the most part, rice is at flood. The water is running, but I just wish it could have started up three weeks ago.

    “We actually converted 160 acres of rice on our own farm to row rice because we couldn’t get the levees up. We put out the herbicide and then the rain hit last Monday (6/8). This is some of that blue buckshot that takes longer to dry out. And once it did dry out, we would have needed four days to pull the levees on it. At that point, we didn’t see a long enough opening in the weather forecast to make all that happen.

    “Our soybeans look really good, and they are coming along fast. We’re three weeks later in planting than we want to be, but I still see us set up for a really nice year. The rain wasn’t too bad on them and they never sustained herbicide damage.

    “A few people still want to plant soybeans, and they’ve said that they will either finish soybeans by this Saturday or they will step back. Several of our growers already have had to replant beans because of unexpected rains.”


    Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley

    “The bulk of south Louisiana’s rice is in the heading stage, and it’s time now to begin scouting for disease and for rice stink bugs. Also, start thinking about the ratoon crop and optimizing yields if you plan to produce a second crop. Applying gibberellic acid increases ratoon averages 60% of the time, research shows. It takes approximately a 4 gram/acre rate applied during the milk stage.

    From our sponsor…


    “That’s an inexpensive input, plus it can be paired with a pyrethroid if you’re treating for stink bugs. Also, rates higher than 4 grams don’t show any increase over and above that recommended rate.

    “The crop in southwest Louisiana looks excellent. Yield potential is there, and this current run of dry weather will reduce disease pressure during the crop’s critical period. Beyond that, nighttime temperatures aren’t excessive. For right now, the weather is perfect for filling out grain. Let’s just hope all this holds.

    “The crop is running 7 to 10 days earlier than normal due to warmer temperatures in March. Highs were easily 10 degrees above average, and at times they were hitting the upper 80s and low 90s. With those conditions, it doesn’t take water-seeded rice long to emerge, and it visibly took off. We went through a couple of cold spells, but that didn’t seem to phase the crop much, and a hail storm hit but that was in a fairly isolated area.

    “I expect the earliest harvest to start in the first week of July. Reports of draining should turn up soon, and I’ve already heard of some rice turning down.”


    M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist, Beaumont

    “The weather has been nice and dry – excellent conditions for rice. A big portion of our crop is heading now. A crop consultant in Garwood told me that once rice is reaching PD, he’s noticed that it is progressing to heading faster than expected. That’s probably due to the warm weather.

    “I’m receiving reports of high populations of rice stink bugs, but we have good tools to control them. Be on the lookout for the rice planthopper. A crop consultant sent me a photo of what I think is a rice planthopper. The photo was taken in Victoria County.”


    Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist

    “It’s hot and this rice crop is moving right along – finally. A big part of our crop is approaching midseason timing, so this is a tremendous point to have warm and sunny conditions. It’s what we’re looking for when the crop is moving into the reproductive stage – no clouds, bright sunshine and plenty of potential to make a lot of grain.

    “That said, a decent amount of rice has only been at flood for a week or is just now going to flood.

    “We’re starting to see herbicide injuries. A little of this would be connected to drift, but a big share of my calls this week have been about the effects of ALS herbicides on rice when it goes to flood. You see that momentary flash of yellowing that catches everyone’s attention. The effect tends to happen with herbicides that have more activity on sedges.

    “It can be a little unnerving. People don’t see this every year or they might not notice it in the same place from one season to the next. Typically, it’s nothing serious. The effect comes and it goes.

    “People continue to ask about delayed phytotoxicity syndrome, which we covered in a recent report (click here for the June 11 issue and scroll down to Jarrod Hardke’s comments). It begins showing as you take the rice to flood. Usually, dropping to a shallow flood will give plants a chance to rebound. If it’s more serious across a wide area, you’ll have to drain the field so that rice can fully recover.

    “Growers are still planting in a few scattered areas. It’s the last gasp for 2020. Some of this rice is going in behind land leveling. But in other cases, this is the first chance it’s been dry enough for long enough for farmers to work the ground and plant. These tend to be flat, low-lying areas that will always be in rice if it’s in anything.

    “This isn’t enough new planting to move the needle on our total acreage, but it does illustrate what a challenging season this has been for many Arkansas rice farmers.”

    AgFax Rice: Midsouth/Texas is published by AgFax Media LLC
    Owen Taylor, Editorial Director.
    Working-Copy%5B1%5D.jpgThis weekly report is distributed during the cotton production season. It is available to United States residents engaged in cotton farming, field scouting and other qualifying ag professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. Office: 601-992-9488.
    ©2020 AgFax Media LLC

    The Latest

    Send press releases to Ernst@Agfax.com.

    View All Events

    Send press releases to Ernst@Agfax.com.

    View All Events