Rice – Coastal Crop Remains On Fast Track To Harvest – AgFax

Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Owen Taylor, Editor

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


The coastal crop remains on track for an early harvest. A little draining could begin soon in isolated fields if it hasn’t already started.

Wetter weather has settled over much of our coverage area since our last issue.

More Midsouth rice has gone to flood, but plenty of late-planted rice is out there.

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Gary Bradshaw, Independent Agronomist, Bradshaw Agricultural Consulting, Richmond, Texas

“We are trying to finalize fungicide work this week and line up boot fertilizer applications on our later fields. We’re on the tail end of doing those things, and our oldest rice is only about two weeks away from draining (as of 6/22). This will be some of the earliest rice I’ve seen in a while, and we’ll begin harvesting around July 10 to July 14. Usually, that doesn’t start until the end of July.

“Overall, the rice looks really good. We’ve had very favorable weather for the last three weeks or so. Stink bugs have been little to no problem around here. It’s been raining this morning. I had three fields that were supposed to have been sprayed today and that would have been the very first bug spraying that I’ve done this year.”


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

“In rice, we’re starting into mid-season fertilizer applications. I’m sure other people in the area are ahead of us, but our rice is just to the point to come in with the mid-season shot. A lot of our rice isn’t even close to ready to flood, and the latest hasn’t been out of the ground for much more than 10 days.

“I’m not exaggerating when I say we planted a lot of late rice. I thought we’d reached our accepted cutoff date for planting rice, but our growers planted another 5,000 acres after that. We certainly planted rice much later this year than in 2019.

“The market was a driving factor in how late farmers were willing to keep planting rice. Plus, things turned dry at about the time we normally would have stopped planting rice, so everyone kept going.

“At one point, I didn’t think we would plant all of the intended rice, but that late round of planting bought up the total. This is one of my biggest rice years ever. If conditions had been better earlier in the season, growers would have planted substantially more rice, I suspect.

“We’re not completely planted across all of our crops, but we’re much farther along than we were this time last year. Across all of my crops, we are 95% planted. At this point in 2019, we were probably 75% planted, and a big portion of those unplanted acres ended up in prevented planting. We have prevented planting acreage this year, too, but nothing on the scale of 2019.

“Corn is starting to tassel, and we put out all of our pre-tassel urea.

“Our early beans are at R2 and moving into R3. Our latest soybeans have just emerged.

“We’re trying to clean up the beans, which is a never-ending battle. We’re spraying them just about every time it gets dry enough, overlaying a residual to try to maintain control.”


Keith Collins, Extension Agent, Richland, Ouachita and Franklin Parishes, Rayville, Louisiana

“Paddy rice and row rice both look good, and we’ve had favorable weather. All but a small percentage of the paddy rice is at a flood now, and the row rice is at an equivalent stage.

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“I haven’t heard of any major issues, except the usual concerns. In continuous rice fields, grass is a problem, but that’s expected. We still have a long way to go, but at this point I think we have a good-looking rice crop.

“Our soybeans vary greatly in age. Growers planted the earliest beans in the first week of April, and we were still planting some last week. Location and rainfall amounts had a lot to do with the difference in planting dates.

“Our latest corn is pollinating with earlier corn at dent.


Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist

“We’ve started watching water weevils (RWW) in our plots. We pulled samples in Stuttgart today (6/23) and found medium to high levels for this time of the year. In our untreated check, larval counts regularly ran 15 to as high as 25 per core, with our threshold at 3 to 4 per core.

“This is pretty heavy pressure for that area, and I think the numbers will increase further as we start sampling in known hotspots.

“In row rice, female billbugs are starting to come into the fields to feed and lay eggs. We’ll see how that progresses.

“Our soybeans are going into R2 to R3, and we’re regularly picking up redbanded stink bugs (RBSB), which concerns me more than anything else right now. The numbers we’re picking up are nothing close to treatment level, but the population is definitely out there.

“This is really early for RBSB to show up here. We have a lot of late-planted beans, and I’m really concerned about how bad RBSB will be in this crop.

“Every day, multiple people tell me that they are finding RBSB in R2 or R3 beans, and these reports are coming from as far north as Pine Bluff. I’m afraid this is shaping up a lot like 2017, which was a bad RBSB season. If this trends like 2017, RBSB will be all across the state by the end of the year. Just about everyone has late beans, so I think these bugs will be an issue for everyone.”


Wendell Minson, Bootheel Crop Consultants, Dexter, Missouri

“We’re receiving a good bit of scattered showers that are helping a little where people are taking rice to flood. Where it didn’t rain much (as of 6/22), farmers are trying to pump up fields.

“Some people are still planting rice, so I really can’t even try to tell you when the latest rice will be in the area. My latest was planted June 8, and we flushed it last week. A few growers pushed to plant those late fields, and now we’re in rough situations that are requiring rescue approaches. For the most part, though, that part of the crop looks alright.

“This is probably the latest we’ve ever started taking rice to flood. Even the rice that was planted a little early just didn’t grow well because the weather was so cool. We don’t have much rice at a stable flood yet, maybe 15%. But most of that will happen pretty quickly because this rain is helping get it all there.”


Hugh Whitby, KC Consulting, Wynne, Arkansas

“My first midseason applications will go out this week, but I also have rice that hasn’t even emerged yet (as of 6/22). My latest rice planting was behind land grading and also in another block that couldn’t be planted any earlier because it was too wet to work the ground.

“At least a little of our rice was planted last year in about that same period and it actually did pretty well. The milling was great because those acres weren’t into the reproductive stages during hot weather in August and into September.

“The midseason application is going on a quarter to a third of our rice, but the majority of my crop this year is hybrid. A good deal of the hybrid rice is at green ring, but the fertilizer on it goes out later.

“We’ve been trying to stay clean with residual herbicides. The ground cracked and some other things happened, so grass came up. You think you have a clean crop, then things suddenly change.

“We’re trying to lay down residuals to keep anything else from making it through. Because of resistance, we’re now dealing with barnyardgrass like we would pigweed in soybeans. Nothing we can apply anymore works 100% on barnyardgrass once it’s up.

“I am working with the Provisia system in rice this year, and it seems to be doing well on red rice and grass.

“All of our soybeans are up and going. We’ve sprayed everything and treatments seems to be working good. For the most part, we made the first dicamba shot on those varieties before the cutoff date. Now, we’ve got nothing left to kill pigweeds. We’re laying down residuals as much as possible, but pigweeds are still coming through in places.

“Last week, growers planted 400 to 500 acres of soybeans in small areas where it finally dried up enough to do field work.

“The majority of our corn received its pre-tassel nitrogen shot this week. I’ve seen some corn with tassels and silks, and the corn is moving right along.

“It rained Saturday night (6/20) and then again this morning, with chances for another one tonight. We needed the rain to soften the crust so the last of the rice could emerge. In places, growers had run pivots to bring up late-planted soybeans and activate residuals.”


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

“Rice is still doing well. Rice stink bug populations are somewhat normal. Cercospora (narrow brown leaf spot) is showing up in the Presidio variety. It’s been hot and dry, but we’ve received some significant rainfall amounts lately. Here at the Beaumont Center, it totaled 3.3 inches early in the week.”


Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist

“The majority of our rice is flooded. In its weekly report on Monday, USDA estimated that 3% of our rice was headed. I haven’t seen any headed rice yet, but maybe there’s a field out there somewhere. I would say we’re 65% flooded.

“A couple more reports have come in about Roundup drift but not in any kind of wide area. Also, we’re being asked about rice that isn’t growing off very well or where seedling disease developed in later-planted fields. And I’ve seen a few places where late rice came up on lighter ground but then it dried up. Those roots ran out of moisture, which caused stand reduction.

“It’s rather astounding to me that we’re almost into July but we’re still dealing with problems relating to seedling rice. Also, people are trying to push some of this late-planted rice to flood as soon as possible, so they’re applying fertilizer on wet ground.

“In a normal season, we would be done with pre-flood fertilizer by the second week of June and everything would be very dry, so we’d have better conditions if someone did still needed to apply preflood nitrogen. But 2020 just won’t give us a break.”


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

“Rice is moving along nicely. Things have shifted into a wetter weather pattern, and we’re seeing our first signs of disease, although disease is very minimal so far. Right now, people are reporting blast. But if this wet weather continues, sheath blight will increase, as well.

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“So far, though, disease pressure is lower than normal. The crop looks great, and we just hope it holds up well to harvest.

“We’re still a couple of weeks away from draining any of the rice in our research program. but I suspect that draining might start this week in a few commercial fields. Farmers would at least be considering it, especially with this wet weather.”


Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist

“Our rice looks better and better every day. We’ve had a couple of back-to-back rain events over the weekend and into this week, and most people received one to two inches. Mostly, those were helpful rains. We’ve had decent heat and plenty of direct sunlight, and the crop is responding well. About 75% of the state’s rice is probably at flood (as of 6/24).

“As rice approaches midseason, the leaves are turning a little lighter, which we expect to some degree. When people see this, they sometimes worry that the field is running out of nitrogen. For varieties about to receive a midseason application, this is not a big issue.

“But we do need to watch these fields as they lighten up. With all the weather problems and delays, it was difficult to apply a lot of our early nitrogen this year. Growers had to work between rains, so in certain cases the applications went out in less-than-ideal conditions. Think back to when you applied that nitrogen – were some applications done on kind of a questionable basis? Maybe those fields are lightening up too much, maybe we didn’t get everything out of our preflood nitrogen?

“With hybrids, we’re not making a midseason application, but do we need to add one if the rice gets too light? Is there an issue, did something else happen?

“But with a lot of these fields, we’re seeing that normal effect you expect as you approach midseason. Rice also took a beating in places from wind and heavy rains, and that slapped leaves around and tattered them, which adds to the effect. As new leaves develop, things will look better.

“Again, we need to monitor these fields and see how they move along. But in most cases, rice will green up again without the need for extra nitrogen in addition to our standard plan.

“I’ve also seen a good bit of herbicide damage from the Permit-type products, as well as Facet, Bolero and things like that. People are still calling, too, about delayed phytotoxicity syndrome (DPS). I just shot a video on this morning to provide more visual information about DPS.”

AgFax Rice: Midsouth/Texas is published by AgFax Media LLC
Owen Taylor, Editorial Director.
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