A range of diseases are turning up in south Louisiana. Nothing would require a fungicide at this point, but symptoms are evident in limited instances. See comments by Dustin Harrell.


More damage assessments are coming in from parts of the upper Midsouth hit by flooding this month. See comments by Jarrod Hardke and also connect to other reports in our Links section.


Tough decisions are being made or delayed about how to deal with weeds that have emerged in rice that already has been weakened by bad weather. While weeds and grass are emerging, nobody wants to hit rice with a treatment that could further set it back.


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David Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas

“We probably lost 10% of our rice crop to the flood, although we still have rice fields that aren’t up to a stand yet or farmers haven’t decided whether to keep. We’ve had vigor issues with one particular seed line, and that hasn’t helped, either. I’ve got some rice that finally made a stand, although these aren’t good stands.


“You see a few stands like that every year, but I’ve never found cases this dramatic. We planted nearby fields on the same day and didn’t get stands with the problem seed until a couple of weeks after the other rice. We’re applying ammonium sulfate in these problem stands to encourage it to push.


“We’re trying to get herbicide work done between the rains. Command is starting to back down in places. Rice hasn’t grown up yet but we can see a little grass breaking through.


“I can flood a few fields this week where the rice grew off okay. Gramoxone injury is starting to show up in places. The southern part of my territory is pretty much dry today (5/15), with maybe just wet spots in fields. But in the northern part you can’t work anyplace except maybe on sand, and even then a lot of it is still too wet. I heard that one grower who’s on sand had only planted about 400 acres of the 4,000 acres of cotton he expects to grow this year.”


Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana

“My rice ranges from just emerging to 1,000 acres that has gone to flood. Most of the rice in between those two points is at 2 to 3 leaves. We’re doing a lot of spraying now. Growing conditions have really improved. At one point we got 5 to 6 inches of rain in about a 10-day stretch, and the crop slowed down during that period. But with sunshine and wind, it didn’t take long for things to dry up, and we’re doing a little bit of flushing now (5/15).”


Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist

Grape colaspis damage has become more apparent in the last week in more places. It’s mainly turning up where people failed to use an insect seed treatment. They’re now finding out why they should have.


“But in some cases – and these are more troubling – we’re seeing damage in rice that did receive a seed treatment. These are cases where rice was planted in mid to late March but growers couldn’t take the crop to flood soon enough, and cool weather and rains delayed things past the seed treatment’s residual lifespan.


“A lot of this rice was in the ground for 45 to 55 days. Now that things have warmed up, grape colaspis have moved into the root zone and are damaging roots and further limiting plant development. Damage is pretty severe in places. About the only thing you can do at this point is flush fields and try to slow them down and maybe apply a little nitrogen to stimulate root growth. We have to try to outgrow them as best we can.


Grape colaspis damage in rice, showing concentrated injury that overlays soybean residue from the previous season. Photo: Gus Lorenz, U. of Arkansas


“Rice stink bugs (RSB) won’t be a potential problem until rice starts heading, but we continue to see thick populations on wild hosts. This mild winter meant lower mortality. Now that weed grasses are heading, RSB have a place to feed and build. It’s too early to say if they’ll turn up in huge numbers late in the summer as rice heads, but I don’t like the looks of this right now.”


Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Innis, Louisiana

All of my rice is behind crawfish this year and a little was planted in the middle of last week.”


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

Our rice in south Louisiana is moving pretty quickly. Possibly, a very small amount of rice could be headed next week. The bulk is between green ring and half-inch internode.


“We’re seeing some disease. It’s nothing significant but you can find a gamut of common diseases – cercospora, sheath blight and blast. Again, none of this is at a high incidence – nothing you would warrant applying a fungicide. But disease is at least apparent, and we are moving into that part of the season when it can become a factor.


“Also, keep in mind that we had a little higher incidence of smut in some areas in 2016. You have to apply propiconazole as a preventive and the treatment must go on before the panicle emerges from the boot. If you treat after it emerges, you’re too late. If you had false smut or black kernel smut last year and want to prevent it this year, that’s your option.


“Be aware that a lot of rice is showing some degree of bronzing due to stress from either high water or high wind. Don’t confuse this with cercospora symptoms. These plants maybe had some type of nutrient deficiency and then the stress triggered these symptoms. Don’t immediately assume you need to apply a fungicide.


“I’ve also seen what I think is the first field this year with feeding activity by the South American rice miner (SARM). I haven’t seen the actual pest but have checked out damage that is like we saw with it last year. It’s considered a minor pest and we hardly see high incidences of it. But last year in southwest Louisiana we could find it in almost every field we entered.


“A quick reminder: several field days and related events are coming up, including the Vermilion Parish Rice Field Day on May 25, the Southwest Louisiana Rice Tour on May 31 and the Evangeline Parish Rice Field Day on June 1.”


Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist

Last weekend (5/13-14) we finally got the rain we needed. We were hoping for three-quarters of an inch but totals in some areas hit 2 inches. That’s more than we wanted, considering how weak and stressed a lot of rice is right now.


“In many fields the rice has responded well to the rain and is showing new growth. However, the heavier rain amounts did exaggerate some issues that were already out there like herbicide damage and dry conditions. We’ve spent this week bouncing around the state to look at these problem fields, which immediately became apparent once it did rain.


“Even where rainfall amounts were more moderate, some issues became obvious right away. A lot of this does seem to be herbicide related, such as drift injury. When conditions were wet and cool the rice wasn’t growing, so the problems weren’t apparent.


“I’ve been in fields that farmers considered replanting because they had lost some plants and the rest of them looked brown. But in a lot of these fields you’ll find enough plants to keep the stand and those that survived are showing a green cast now. Obviously, they’re responding to moisture and better weather.


“Ironically, the wind kicked up again and soils are crusting and drying out, so now we need that next rain and more humidity to help move rice along.


“Aside from obvious problems, a big portion of our rice looks really good now. Cleanup herbicides are going out where some residuals finally broke. Plenty of people have commented about how long those herbicides held in that wet, cool environment. The weather turned windy and dry so fast that nothing germinated, weed-wise. But with this last round of rain, herbicides will be a priority.


“Application scheduling is complicated by the winds right now (5/17). We’ve got 20 mph winds, which are holding up those pre-flood applications. It’s windy and dry enough that the National Weather Service issued an advisory for lower visibility due to blowing dust and sand in several northeast Arkansas counties.


“On top of all that, we’re still dealing with the aftermath of this month’s rain and flooding. Water is now moving off fields that have been submerged for quite some time. Where rice was under for 7 to 10 days, those stands have generally been okay. Plants had somewhat leaned over, but growers kept the ground a little wet to encourage rice to stand up.


“Now, though, we’re seeing rice that was under water for 14 days. In terms of how long rice can be submerged and still survive, 14 days is at the fringe for expected survival. That rice doesn’t look great, but we will be able to keep some of it.


“With all this, we’re also now dealing with weed issues in this compromised rice. We need to clean up weeds, on one hand, but we don’t want to go with anything that could set back those already weakened plants. We’re tap dancing around herbicide decisions now, trying to figure out the best options.


“I’m still being asked about whether to apply ammonium sulfate or DAP to help this rice rebound. Research shows no real benefit to doing that. Those plants have been through plenty and have shallower-than-normal root systems. When the weather turned dry and windy all of a sudden, it sapped away all the moisture, and plants that already were stressed couldn’t grow down into the moisture they needed.



“They simply don’t have the root system needed now to efficiently take up what you might apply. What they need are moisture and better growing conditions. If you’re intent on making an application, wait until you see plants respond to this weather, like putting out a new green leaf. Make the plant prove to you that it’s ready. Again, we see limited response from these applications except that they might make plants advance a little faster towards maturity.”


Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist

A couple of folks were still planting a few acres but we should pretty much finish this week. A small number of growers planted a little later than usual, hoping that they could dodge herbicide drift issues. We’ve only had one call about drift this week, but the wind is blowing 30 mph today (5/17), so who knows what next week will bring?


“A lot of rice is trying to recover from the regular herbicide applications after sitting in cold, wet weather for an extended period. Until this week we haven’t had good growing conditions on a sustained basis, but the weather this week should help bring along the crop.


“In places, our earliest rice and even some of it planted in the second round is going to flood. I’ve either seen or been told about flooding in Tunica County and Bolivar County.”


DeWayne Dopslauf, Crop Production Services, Wharton, Texas

I’m trying to take most of my rice to flood, and our pre-flood herbicides and fertilizer have been going out when possible. A little rice is still being planted. We need some rain, especially on corn, which is tasseling and pollinating. Cotton isn’t hurting yet, but it will be.


“This has been a demanding herbicide year, and we’ve had to spray more than we figured we would. Rice was kind of slow, which was a factor, but on some of our land we have heavier weed pressure now, too. That’s not so much the case where land sat out for 3 or 4 years. The heavier pressure this year tends to be on land that’s been consistently farmed. I think we’re seeing a little more resistance among some weeks. Barnyardgrass and flat sedge, in particular, have been hard to control in isolated spots.


“Wind has been giving us more fits than anything else. Aside from delaying herbicide applications, the wind has made it hard to flood up some fields. We’re not getting the high ground covered, although in south Texas that kind of thing can happen.”


Amy Beth Dowdy, ABD Crop Consulting, Dexter, Missouri

We’re still trying to gain stands in some fields in Pemiscot and Dunklin Counties. Part of that rice was planted about 10 days ago and then went through big rains. It’s trying to emerge but the north wind started blowing immediately after the rain, so the ground either crusted over or compacted due to the hard rain.


“My early rice, which was planted around April 8-9, can’t get past 2 to 3 leaves. The weather hasn’t been conducive for rice plants this year, and now this wind has been horrendous all day (5/17). It’s sure boogered up rice in places. I was just in a field with plants that probably looked pretty good this morning. But after all the wind, they look like a truck ran over them.


“Growers keep asking if they should apply fertilizer on this delayed rice, but most of it just has one root and it’s kind of hanging on. It won’t take in fertilizer in that condition, so there’s no point in throwing money out there on something that won’t make a difference.


“All of my growers have planted all the rice they told me they would have. One guy is finishing up, aside from some spot replanting. Some of our CL 111 was under water from the floods for 14 days, and it looks okay. With a few days of sunshine, it should be fine.


“This has been a difficult year to get a stand. In all the years I’ve worked rice, it’s never taken 6 weeks to get a stand, but that’s the case in places. I’m afraid this will be an expensive crop, too, in terms of weeds. Where rice struggled to grow, residual herbicides played out, and now grass is coming up.


“But with the condition rice is in, I don’t want to spray any herbicides that would set it back further. Rice prices are going up a little, so I’m hoping farmers’ pockets will be a little deeper when we start trying to clean up these problems.


“Scattered showers are in the forecast on Friday, then a more rain on Sunday.”




NAFTA: Rice Industry to Trump – ‘Do No Harm’ 5-18


Farmland Values Up; Farm Income and Cash Rents Declined – St. Louis Fed, 1Q 2017 Report   5-18


Louisiana: Crawfish Farmer Meeting, Jennings, May 23   5-18


U.S. Production Estimates Drastically Reduced   5-17


Arkansas Flooding: Replanting but Too Late for Many Rice Acres – DTN   5-16


Arkansas: Ag Flood Damage Estimate Widens to $175Mln   5-16


Mississippi MSU Row Rice Variety Trials – Videos 5-17


Louisiana: 7 Upcoming Rice Field Days Through July 


 More Rice News And Analysis Here



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