If you are planning on planting rice for crawfish forage, the best time to plant is in late July or the first week of August.
Last summer we did a planting date trial to determine the optimal time to plant rice for crawfish. The objectives were to grow the rice so that the pond would have green rice in the fall and a persistent source of biomass through the season.
In the trials, the rice planted July 22, July 29 and August 5 had green rice all through October which translates into good water quality and optimal early growth for young crawfish. These dates also produced biomass that lasted longer through the winter to create the food web that feeds the crawfish.
Earlier plantings headed out too soon and the plants died back during October. Later plantings were impacted by the early cold weather we had last November and had little biomass left in the winter.
More details can be viewed in this 3 minute You Tube video.
So for those of you with permanent ponds and you want to plant rice for crawfish forage, next week looks like some dry weather and a good time to plow the field. The extended forecast calls for rain during the following week, making it a good time to plant.