Rice Harvest – More Light At The End Of The Tunnel – 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.


    Light is flickering more strongly out there at the end of the tunnel. This season isn’t over yet, but that wonderful smell of rice harvest will soon be in the air on a wider basis.

    Harvest continues in Texas and southeast Louisiana. Yields are said to be very good, even exceptional, but actual numbers are scant. Louisiana will release results from its rice harvest survey before the weekend, and that will tell us something. The Texas Rice Survey, which does not delve into yields, put main-crop harvest at 15%, but that was based on last week’s estimate. It is updated on Fridays.

    Farmers are draining more rice this week in Arkansas and north Louisiana, and momentum should pick up next week.

    In Arkansas, a combine might move into an early rice field in a week. See comments by Jarrod Hardke.

    Somewhat cooler conditions settled over the Midsouth during the past week. Skies have mostly been full of sunshine, too. All that is a positive for rice that is flowering and filling grain. However, the forecast calls for daytime temperatures to return to the mid-90s this weekend. August isn’t going away.

    From our sponsor…



    Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana

    “We’re still watering row rice a little, but we’ve picked up most of the polypipe from the beans. One guy is still watering a couple hundred acres of cotton, but it’s winding down in a hurry, too.

    “We’ve drained 40% of the paddy rice acres so far, and within the next 7 to 10 days, 90% of it will be drained. It looks pretty good. On the earliest rice, we’ll probably be harvesting it in 2 weeks. The youngest rice I scout is just heading, but that’s only one 500-acre field.

    “Rice stink bugs have been fairly light.

    “We’re beginning to desiccate a lot of soybeans. Within the next 7 days, we’ll have 70% done, and in the next 14 days 80% will be desiccated.

    “Redbanded stink bugs are horrible, and we’re having to spray them every 10 days. 

    “A few of my clients are harvesting beans. No word on yields, but growers seem to be pleased. In another week, we will be heavy into soybean harvest.

    “Corn harvest is just starting, and it’s looking really good so far. One of my farmers harvested about 1,000 acres and used the word ‘exceptional’ to describe it. Like the beans, it’ll be another week before we are really wide open on harvesting corn.”


    Eddy Cates, Cates Agritech Inc., Marion, Arkansas

    “All of the rice is heading. Some fields are 100% headed while others are 50%. A lot of the rice is in the flower stage, too. Primarily, we are just sweeping for rice stink bugs (RSB), but we haven’t had to spray any fields for stink bugs so far. It’s very unusual for that to happen.

    “Although we haven’t seen many RSBs, true armyworms have moved into some of the later-planted rice. We have sprayed several fields. 

    “We have a lot of row rice, and it isn’t uniformly heading like the paddy rice is. At this point, we’re about two weeks from draining any of the oldest paddy rice.

    “Soybeans range from R3 to R6. This week, we are spraying bollworms on several fields at R2 to R3.5. In addition to bollworms, a heavy infestation of green cloverworms (GCW) has developed. In some situations, we are at 1 per sweep. We’re watching the levels of defoliation, and it’s looking like we will have to spray a few fields for GCW. The worms continue increasing. Last week, they were just at 25% on 100 sweeps.

    “I haven’t had to spray for GCW before, but the way this looks we will this year. I’m hearing that some people are hitting as high as 200% when they sweep. If we reach 10% to 15% defoliation and with these numbers when we sweep, GCW will have to be sprayed. I have fields at 7% defoliation now.

    “Corn is very close to being done. A lot is at a quarter to half on the starch line. We’re watering it this week and maybe next week, but we will start terminating corn next week at half-starch.”


    Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist

    “Calls are still coming in about row rice. Dead plants are starting to show up in fields, so billbugs are clearly beginning to move into row rice. 

    “We expected heavy rice stink bug (RSB) pressure this year, but that just hasn’t been the case. They have really been below average, running just under threshold across a wide area. We’re still treating a few fields, but RSB numbers have been fairly low compared to the large population I predicted.

    From our sponsor…


    “We saw heavy RSB population on wild hosts ahead of rice heading, but they didn’t materialize. Honestly, I don’t know what happened to them. I’m glad they’re not in our rice for the grower’s sake, but I hate that I over-hyped potential RSB pressure.

    “However, RSB still might manifest themselves in the late-planted rice that is approaching heading. We’ve seen that happen in some years with light pressure in early-heading rice but heavy numbers in those last rice fields.

    “Fall armyworm (FAW) activity has picked up in pastures across the state, and FAW have moved into rice in places. We’re finding an average of 1 FAW per sweep, which is about average for this time of the year in rice. Defoliation from FAW isn’t near the treatment level in rice yet, although some treatments have likely been made. But based on the research from Nick Bateman (Extension Entomologist) and me, don’t treat until you reach 25% defoliation.

    “When you spray a pyrethroid without cause, you take out beneficial insects, which could allow stink bugs to build. Monitor FAW, and if extensive defoliation develops, spray as needed. Otherwise, just let them run their course.”


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

    “Rice harvest is progressing, but we went through a spell of untimely rains that caused delays. For instance, in Brazoria County south of Houston, more than 12 inches fell since July 21. So, some the first fields farmers started cutting were rutted pretty badly. Farmers with track combines didn’t rut up paddies as badly.

    “Yields still were very good.

    “One farmer on the east side of Houston had really high populations of rice stink bugs. He sprayed with Tenchu 20SG but then rain started four hours later. Control, though, was excellent. That, I think, is a benefit of applying an insecticide that has systemic activity.”


    Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist

    “Mississippi’s rice crop is heading like crazy, and probably 60% is headed now (8/6). We will likely drain some of our first fields next week. That rice was planted in the earliest planting period.

    “The majority of our rice is heading and flowering, and we have exceptional weather for it. These cooler nighttime temperatures will really help yield potential this week in those fields.

    “If we drain rice next week, we’ll probably begin cutting two weeks later. If these weather conditions hold, we may see harvest start somewhere in the last week of August.

    “Very few people have called about rice stink bugs (RSB). Some treatments have gone out, but RSB haven’t been as heavy as expected.

    “Farmers and consultants who I’ve talked with this week are pleased with the way rice is finishing up and quite optimistic. Everyone says that rice has strong yield potential.”


    Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist

    “This week, we’re blessed with great, great weather. We’re into a cooldown, with highs in the mid-80s and lows in the 60s, plus clear skies and plenty of sunshine. Those conditions are especially favorable for rice that’s into heading and filling grain. But on the other hand, these cooler temperatures have slowed progress a little in the later rice. Fields that were close to heading a week ago (from 8/6) are just now starting to go.

    “Highs will return to the mid-90s over the weekend. This span of cooler weather did help us keep up with water demands on both rice and our rotational crops, so that’s a plus, too.

    “Disease has been pretty light. People continue reporting symptoms of potassium deficiency. As late as it is, that probably won’t be a limiting factor with yields. But it’s a really late indicator that you need to closely examine your potassium levels and bring them into an optimal range if necessary. This maybe won’t cost a farmer anything in 2020, but you might not be so lucky next year.

    “This next round of heat should push a big part of the crop towards maturity. I think we’re at least a week away from combines running in those first fields. If the first fields are harvested in mid-August, that’s not an early start for us.”


    Amy Beth Dowdy, ABD Crop Consulting, Dexter, Missouri

    “We still aren’t seeing enough stinkbugs to spray. Our early rice is heading pretty well, and about 10% of our fields are 100% headed. We’re a little ahead of where we would normally be with heading, but that’s because at least some of our earliest fields were planted with shorter-season varieties.

    “As heading progresses, I will be falling behind average from there on out because part of the crop went in relatively late. That will stretch out the season quite a bit. The early rice will probably be headed out in about 10 days, but then we’ll have a gap before much heading starts on the late rice. For me, the season will go into September before it’s all done.

    “We’re still putting out a little fertilizer in the late fields, and I probably won’t finish up those for another week or so. It looks like it will be cooler when we’re finishing up, so that will be good for pollination in the later rice.

    “It hasn’t rained much in Pemiscot and Dunklin Counties, which was really bad for row rice. We’re having problems getting water across those 60-inch beds, so that rice isn’t pollinating as well as we hoped. We were already having problems keeping fields pumped up, so we’ll definitely see some yield issues because of water shortage.

    “In this situation, the farmers already have realized that 60-inch beds were too wide, but now it’s even worse because we haven’t had any measurable rainfall in a while. Two farmers said that they haven’t had a significan rain since June 23, so we’re going on 6 weeks with barely anything. The later rice is moving very close to the reproductive stage, but farmers are having a hard time keeping the row rice flooded.”


    DeWayne Dopslauf, Crop Production Services, Wharton, Texas

    “We’re into the second week of harvest on the west side of Houston. On the east side, growers are just starting this week. It rained a good bit over the last three to seven days (from 8/4), and that slowed everything down just as people began running the combines. But over the weekend, things kicked back up, and rice harvest is starting to move along now.

    “I haven’t heard a lot of yields, but the numbers people mention are quite impressive.

    “With all the rain, farmers are having to mud out a lot of rice. This week’s forecast looks pretty good – fairly hot and dry. I’m draining a lot of rice this week and began defoliating some cotton.”


    Andy Tonos, South Delta Consulting Inc., Greenville, Mississippi

    “Our rice looks pretty nice, and yield potential seems to looks good. An hour ago, we lined up some draining, and one farmer will knock down the levees tomorrow (8/5) on some of his rice. We’ll line up more draining for next week. We’re spraying for rice stink bugs in places this week. I also have fields that are just starting to head out.

    “Some rice headed out when it was really hot, but I think it will be okay. The heat did help move the crop along. Last week, pollination conditions were good, with low nighttime temperatures.

    From our sponsor…


    “A small amount of our soybean acreage is just now at R1. Our earliest beans are up to R6, but the average is more like R5. We’ve sprayed a good many loopers and podworms in places, and I’ve had to treat stink bugs in some beans, too.

    “It’s been an odd year. We’ve seen podworms in R5 beans, which is just not common. Usually when the beans get to an R5 or so, you’re mainly waiting for stink bugs.

    “Farmers started cutting a little corn in the Lake Washington area. It was planted in March, and they’re maybe trying to get an early start or check out the equipment. Some corn is being watered for the last time.”


    Lance Honeycutt, Simplot Grower Solutions, Jonesboro, Arkansas

    “Everything is either fully headed or going into boot stage and be heading by next week. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m really just waiting around for stinkbugs. We’re sweeping but are only finding light numbers if any at all. I haven’t had to spray yet. They still might flare up later with the late rice, but for now it’s pretty calm.

    “I’m hoping to drain my first rice next week, and then will have several more to do the next week. I’m thinking we will have some fields done by Labor Day (9/7). We’d call it a bonus if any rice was ready for harvest in August, but we’re pretty much on our regular schedule.

    “Right now, growers are trying to keep up with watering beans, so I don’t think they’re in much of a hurry with rice. They’ve got enough on their plates that they don’t have time to start working on their combines and preparing for rice harvest.

    “With the beans, I’m really just looking for worms right now. The armyworms have gotten bad enough that we decided today (6/5) to spray for them in places. Those beans are at R3 or R4, and I’ve never had to spray for armyworms that late.

    “With corn, I think we’re all just wondering when we should be done watering. I’ll probably water one more time, and I think it will be done. We’re at 40% to 70% starch line.”


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

    “We’ve had several good harvest days this week, and yields are still holding up well. We’ll know more after yield reports come in later this week.

    “In certain fields, the ratoon crop either isn’t coming back as quickly as we’d expect or it isn’t making it all. A couple of people reported that RiceTec’s 7301 hybrid was noticeably slow to start ratoon growth. I’ve seen a couple of fields where it didn’t come back at all, I don’t know what happened in those cases. It looks like the plants died at the crown. I don’t think it’s a management issue because the same hybrid did okay in nearby fields planted at the same time.

    “We’ve also noticed that PVL02 is pretty slow to come back. This is PVL02’s first year in commercial production. We had 4 ratoon fields of PVL02 in 2019, and 3 out of the 4 returned very well. It just seems a bit slow at the beginning.

    “Everything else looks great. Growers were having to mud out a good deal of rice last week after rains, but that’s not as big an issue this week. The soil is starting to firm up.

    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