“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.