Rice – Coastal Producers Gearing Up For Harvest – AgFax

    ©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.


    Rice harvest could start in the coastal belt as early as this weekend, although a limited amount of cutting may already be underway. You never know.

    Leaf blast is turning up in Arkansas.

    Just when Midsouth rice really needs sunshine, overcast skies have been lingering over a wide part of the region. Rainy conditions account for part of the cloud cover, but dust from Africa’s Saharan Desert adds to the effect.

    Louisiana held its main rice field day this week, transitioning it to a virtual event with video presentations of the tour stops. Those presentations and related information are now on the web for convenient viewing from your computer, tablet or phone. Connect to the event’s website in our Also of Note section.

    From our sponsor…



    Scott Holder, Helena Chemical Co., Cleveland, Mississippi

    “Our rice looks really good, and it’s generally a clean crop. Some grass and other things are out there in places, which makes it appear a little ragged, although that’s nothing major or widespread.

    “Some of the earliest rice will be flagging by the end of the week. The majority of the crop is flooded, maybe as much as 70% of it (as of 6/30).

    “In beans, we’re making cleanup applications. This has been a year when a lot of things worked well for us. It rained early, then the weather opened up so that people could return to the field and get things done. Herbicides went out as needed, then it rained again to activate those materials. It seems like we hit the weather just right.

    “We haven’t seen a whole lot of stinkbugs, just a few scattered here and there.

    “Our corn is all tasseling and looks really nice. We may have to start watering later in the week, but right now everything seems pretty stable.”


    Tyler Fitzgerald, AgriLife Agricultural Agent, Jefferson County, Texas

    “We have some really early rice and some that was planted quite late. Overall, though, nearly 60% headed with harvest in full swing come August 1, and it looks really good.

    “A small amount of draining could start next week in our earliest fields, so we should expect a little harvest to begin in mid-July. The bulk of our draining will start in the middle of July, with harvest cranking up in early August.

    “No big problems have developed. We’re scouting for stink bugs and disease and making fungicide applications when necessary. That Saharan dust cloud is keeping the sun from consistently shining, but the rice is still growing well. With the cloudy conditions, plus humidity, we’re trying to stay on top of any disease that turns up.”


    Scott Gifford, Gifford Crop Consulting, Manila, Arkansas

    “In rice, we’re applying midseason fertilizer on a lot of acres. We did a few acres last week, but applications are going wide open now. Rice was just starting to yellow, so we’re coming in at the right time.

    “Our rice ranges from late-planted fields that haven’t gone to flood yet to early-planted rice that’s approaching boot stage.

    From our sponsor…


    “Soybeans range from just planted to R3, and we started applying fungicides this week. Insects have been very light in soybeans up until this week. We’re now finding loopers. They’re not bad but we’re seeing them on a widespread basis in all plant stages.

    “Fungicide applications started on Monday (6/29). The crop looks good. Some of our dryland corn caught every rain that came through, and dryland corn looks excellent in places.”


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

    “This week, we’ll hold our first-ever virtual rice field day at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station. All the presentations and other material developed for the event also are online on a special website. So, people can view any of that video content when they want.

    “The program includes our normal field day presentations, as well as guest speakers. We’ll also have a poster session, which will be in the form of a PowerPoint presentations.

    “In our rice crop, disease hasn’t developed to any extent and we still have a good-looking crop. Harvest in some of our earliest fields might start this weekend.

    “In our youngest rice in southwest Louisiana, people have asked about South American rice miners and leaf miners, which are causing damage in some of our younger rice.

    “They tend to be cyclical, and it’s been a couple of years since they’ve been present. These miners will come into rice in heavy numbers, maybe for a couple of years, then go away for another few years before yo see them again. But if rice miners are the worst thing we’ll see this year, that’s okay.

    “We really don’t have any management practices for these pests. They’re in the mid-tillering to latter-tillering rice now, and you almost have to let the rice outgrow them.

    “Stink bugs are mostly quiet.”


    Steve Schutz, Ind. Consultant, Coushatta, Louisiana

    “I haven’t had any rice in several years but ended up with 80 acres for 2020. The farmer intended to plant corn but had to go with prevented planting because the weather kept delaying things.

    “Considering how much better rice prices have been – compared to everything else – he decided to go with rice, even late like this.

    “He planted it about three weeks ago. The rice is now at the five-leaf stage and looks good. We’re trying to work around this weather and apply herbicides and fertilizer so he can take it to flood.”


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

    “Some rice is turning down and will be harvested in 10 to 14 days (from 7/1). Some panicle blast has been observed west of Houston. A consultant reported a possible rice planthopper infestation, which I’ll be checking out.”


    Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist

    “Most everything is moving into the reproductive stages, and we’re encountering some of our usual midseason issues. Among other things, we received the first report of leaf blast. Typically, the first reports start in the second or third week of June, but this year it came in on the last day of June. That’s odd and somewhat indicates how late the crop is running. A few other people now say they’re seeing likely symptoms, too.

    “More rain has fallen. Another big system moved across the state today (7/1) with scattered showers. In places, it dropped a free flood where farmers needed it. But for some folks who already were pumped up, it may have been a little much water.

    “As long as it stays wet like this, the potential for disease will very much be with us.

    “Calls are coming in about hydrogen sulfide toxicity (HST). A lot of that tends to be found just after midseason, which makes it hard to manage. When it develops, plants turn pale and are shorter, and you’ll find black roots. Mostly, people have been catching it early enough that it shouldn’t be a major issue. Nothing I’ve seen has persisted long enough to bring the kind of fungal infection in the crown that shuts down the plant altogether.

    “The only measure that helps is to drop down the water to a muddy state. You’re reintroducing oxygen into that upper soil layer. You’re not completely re-oxygenating the soil. But you’re at least letting plants take a clean breath and throw off the toxic effect. It doesn’t take long to do that. The top paddies dry up first, then the paddies below that dry up in succession.

    “Once plants have bounced back in the upper paddies, you can start chasing water down the field to those lower paddies once they’ve been muddy long enough.

    “We need to be fairly cautious with rice as we move into midseason – and be careful how we spend money on it. Calls continue coming in about rice paling up. It always does that to some degree at this point in the season, but it’s not always due to nitrogen deficiency. One influence right now has been this cloudy and overcast weather. Even though people applied midseason nitrogen, they’re not seeing that dramatic move to a darker green color. To build that green color, you need photosynthesis, and that requires sunlight.

    From our sponsor…


    “If you applied nitrogen but rice isn’t greening up, don’t automatically assume that you need to apply more N. Wait for sunlight and see if plants respond then. Other things might account for rice not greening up. But most of the issues people are asking about this week tend to get back to the lack of one important ingredient, sunlight.”


    Blake Foust, Consultant, Southern Heritage Cotton, LLC, Forrest City, Arkansas

    “In rice, we’re applying quite a bit of midseason fertilizer. My growers planted a lot of hybrids this year, so it’s not time for those fields yet. I think we have everything flooded finally, and the rice has been pretty quiet.

    “Our oldest soybeans are at R4. Luckily, there are really no issues to report in beans. Some soybeans were just planted, so there’s quite a range in age. Insect pressure has been pretty light in beans. Mainly now, we’re just trying to clean up a few weeds.

    “Some guys are putting out an automatic fungicide on corn, but not everyone chooses to do that.”


    Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana

    “Most of the paddy rice is flooded. In the row rice, we’re just trying to keep it wet. We’ve put out two or three shots of nitrogen and everyone is mostly done applying herbicides. We’re waiting on the rice to head and just watching for any disease or pests to pop up. On the row rice, we’re just in layby.

    “The bulk of our corn is dented or will be by this time next week. We have sprayed a few spots with fungicides, but nothing widespread. It’s really just been a field by field basis. We’re cleaning up anything that has been continuous corn or a similar situation.

    “I have soybeans that have just come out of the ground all the way up to way past R5 stage. We have a lot in the blooming stage – R2 or R3. We’ve also got a fair amount planted in June. It wasn’t planted late due to being double crop, we just got too much rain or other priorities took over.

    “We’re only spraying a couple fields for redbanded stink bugs (RBSB). A lot of my beans just aren’t to the stage of seeing a large number of RBSB yet.”


    Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist

    “A lot of rice stink bugs are staging on field edges, and we expect to find pretty big numbers as rice moves closer to heading.

    “In soybeans, we’re finding worms at really low numbers but are still detecting an increase in redbanded stink bugs in R2 and R3 beans. I think that will continue this season from here on out. A significant portion of our soybeans were planted late, and it’s concerning to see RBSB this early.”

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