Arkansas Rice: Planting Nearly Finished, Be Prepared to Cut Levees with Upcoming Rains

    Young rice field at pre-flood. ©Debra L Ferguson

    The end is near!  For rice planting that is.  The state was reported as 76% planted as of 5/16, but I would wager we were even further along than that based on what I have been seeing.  It has been another strong week of finishing up planting, and a few more acres being considered as a result of rice price action this week ($8 rice! At one point anyway).

    Not only are we approaching the Final Planting Date for Prevented Planting, but it appears we’re going to swim our way to it.  Fig. 1 shows the 7-day precipitation forecast, with the majority of the state expected to get 3-5 inches of rain over the coming week.  Of that amount, about an inch is expected Saturday night and the remainder to arrive on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    So for those fields having gone to flood already, or those with levees butted getting ready to go, be prepared to cut those levees.  It hurts to write that.  Especially since quite a few fields have needed to be flushed the past two weeks – meaning levees are already butted and really don’t need a big rain.  Let’s hope that even if the total amount is high, that it falls slow enough for things to drain and not mess up fields and levees.

    As mentioned before, flushing has been necessary of late and the high temps and high winds have us wanting a rain, just not a flood.  To add insult to the pending rain event, winds are so high for these days preceding the upcoming rain that getting out preemergence herbicides has been a pipe dream.

    Monday may provide a window to get some aerial applications before the big rain event, but how much will be left if rain amounts really are that high?  Difficult decision time – spend money on a PRE that may not be there long at all, or skip it and hope you don’t have a jailbreak following the big rain.

    feel like we’ve crossed the 1-million-acre mark for the state and could settle in around 1.1-million-acres.  I’ve been getting that question a lot lately, so right or wrong, I put it in writing so you can hold me to it.  It is just a guesstimation based on what I’m seeing around the state and hearing from folks.

    New on Arkansas Row Crops Radio this week: Weeds AR Wild Series, S2 Ep 14:  Rainfall for residuals, How much and how long?

    NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast

    Fig. 1.  NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast. Click Image to Enlarge

    AR Rice Planting Progress 2010-2022

    Fig. 2.  Arkansas Rice Planting Progress, 2010-2022. Click Image to Enlarge

    Table 1.  U.S. Rice Planting Progress, 2022.

    State

    May 15, 2022

    Last Week

    Last Year

    5-Yr Avg.

    State Percent Planted
    AR 79 57 86 81
    CA 80 70 76 56
    LA 96 92 91 94
    MS 84 72 87 79
    MO 56 31 86 74
    TX 92 88 95 90

    Source:  USDA-NASS.

    Start Nitrogen on Time

    It’s time to run those DD50 reports to confirm where you are on preflood nitrogen (N) timing (DD50 Rice Management Program).  Rice is hitting its stride and the earliest planted fields in the state are just starting to be taken to flood.  Many more will soon follow with the amount of heat we’ve experienced over the last couple of weeks.

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    I want to encourage everyone to try and start on time, as much of the rice will be getting ready very quickly.  Rice planted within the last 10 days has only taken about 6 days to emerge and it’s coming on strong, meaning it will be reaching the stage for preflood N faster than you may expect.

    Many still aren’t utilizing Multiple Inlet Rice Irrigation (MIRI) on levee fields, but this is the year to get in the game.  Water and pumping costs savings of 25-30% are real, with some reporting as much as 40-50% savings.  Given the costs of fuel this year, it’s a great time to take advantage of this practice to save money and accomplish a faster, more uniform flood.

    Back to the N.  Based on the DD50 program, we have the early/optimum preflood window and also the Final Recommended Time to Apply Preflood N.  Once you’ve entered the optimum window we’re good to go anytime, though different conditions and management may have you postpone the start of flooding (such as rice height being on the short side).

    The final recommended date is one to focus on – preferably we’re incorporating preflood N by this date, but there is some buffer time built in past that to allow for fields that take longer to flood.

    Next week we’ll start digging into N rates and strategies.

    Table 2.  Final recommended date to apply preflood nitrogen for selected cultivars based on emergence date in Arkansas County.

    Cultivar

    Emergence Date

    4/1

    4/10

    4/20

    4/30

    5/10

    Final Date to Apply Preflood N

    CLL16 5/18 5/22 5/26 6/1 6/11
    DG263L 5/13 5/16 5/21 5/27 6/6
    Diamond 5/19 5/23 5/27 6/2 6/11
    RT 7321 FP 5/14 5/17 5/21 5/28 6/7
    RT XP753 5/12 5/15 5/19 5/25 6/4

     

    Table 3.  Final recommended date to apply preflood nitrogen for selected cultivars based on emergence date in Poinsett County.

    Cultivar

    Emergence Date

    4/1

    4/10

    4/20

    4/30

    5/10

    Final Date to Apply Preflood N

    CLL16 5/25 5/27 5/29 6/5 6/12
    DG263L 5/19 5/21 5/24 5/30 6/7
    Diamond 5/25 5/27 5/30 6/5 6/12
    RT 7321 FP 5/19 5/21 5/25 5/31 6/8
    RT XP753 5/17 5/18 5/22 5/29 6/5



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