“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.