Here is this week's issue of AgFax Rice.
Our thanks to the Southern and Texas field staffs of Dow AgroSciences for exclusively sponsoring this year’s reports.
Editor: Owen Taylor, 601-992-9488.
Tropical Storm Cindy – now downgraded to a tropical depression – still has the potential to deliver plenty of rain across portions of our coverage area. Whether that’s a positive or negative depends on the stage of the rice and whether farmers want water.
Wind and heavy rains are about the last thing farmers in coastal production areas want right now. More rice is heading and flowering and a little acreage is being drained in southwest Louisiana. The Texas crop is far enough along that rain could be detrimental.
On the other hand, some Midsouth farmers might welcome rain where they’ve just been able to pull levees.
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Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist
“Fall armyworms (FAW) are active in parts of the state and they took out some rice stands in Perry County in the Arkansas River Valley.
“Grape colaspis damage continues to be reported in rice, and this is turning into one of the worst years for it I’ve ever seen. We planted research plots at the Pine Tree station in an areas where I knew they were established, and they really worked over the untreated plots. In terms of demonstrating what they can do, these are the ‘showiest’ plots I’ve ever seen. Those untreated checks were almost totally wiped out.
“Rice water weevil continues moving into rice that’s going to flood.”
Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana
“I’ve got rice all over the board. About 150 acres were planted on Saturday on land that had just been leveled. Except for that last 150 acres, everything is at flood. Most of the crop is at midseason, but I’m in a field right now (6/20) with the first head I’ve seen this season.
“It’s unusual to have any heads yet, but that rice was planted really early. So far, heads are scattered, but I expect to see more by the end of this week.
“In places, we had plenty of trouble getting levees in earlier, so weed control suffered in certain locations. Most of our rice is okay and about 50% is very clean where farmers could jump in quickly and stay on top of things. But we’ve also had to use our imaginations and improvise. Where the ground was too muddy to hold up the big sprayer, the farmer put tracks on a tractor and sprayed with it.”
Eddy Cates, Cates Agritech Inc., Marion, Arkansas
“Rice is moving along really well. Our rice ranges from right at green ring to 2-inch internode movement. We’re starting to put on the midseason application on hybrids and are about to start the first midseason on some conventional varieties that are right at green ring.”
M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist, Beaumont
“A lot of rice is heading and it’s hot. But along the Texas coast we’re preparing for that tropical system (Cindy) in the gulf. If it hits when rice is flowering, that won’t be good. Just a reminder: our Eagle Lake field day is next Tuesday (6/27).”
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley
“Most of our rice in southwest Louisiana is probably in early heading, with some a little more advanced than that. I expect that we probably will see the first rice harvest beginning in early July, which is about 2 weeks earlier than normal. A few fields have been drained.
“The biggest thing this week is Cindy, the tropical system that’s been moving out of the gulf. So far, it hasn’t been too bad, but we’re still not completely done with the system. The big fear, of course, is that it will cause flooding and lodging in the near-mature rice, but flowering rice also would take a hit.
“Sheath blight picked up quite a bit and a lot of fungicides went out, which seems to have slowed its progress. Sheath blight is still out there, but the applications knocked it back, plus we had a period of dry weather last week, which would have helped, as well.
“In northeast Louisiana the crop is mostly in mid tillering. Farmers in those parishes have been contending with wet soils on a wide basis and have been trying to wait for dry conditions so they could apply preflood nitrogen. In places, soils still haven’t dried down and farmers have resorted to spoon feeding nitrogen.
“That’s not the most efficient use of nitrogen, on one hand, but rice is far enough along that it will suffer a yield penalty if it doesn’t get nitrogen. At this point, it’s better in those cases to accept some inefficiency than to take the expected yield loss if nitrogen isn’t available.
“A quick reminder: our annual rice field day is next Wednesday, June 28, at the Crowley station. The first trailer leaves after 7 a.m.”
Curtis Fox, Consultant, Gillette, Arkansas
“All of our rice is in the reproductive stage, from green ring to maybe spots where we’ll see the flag leaf emerging next week. That’s probably about normal timing.
“Fungicides will start going out in 2 weeks or less (from 6/22). Typically, we begin around the Fourth of July, so we’re about on track.
“Our beans that are furthest along are at R5. A lot of fungicides went out on R3 beans in the last 2 weeks. Stink bugs have been very light in soybeans. Treatments have only been made in a couple of isolated instances. Very few armyworms or bollworms have turned up and we haven’t sprayed any beans for worms so far.
“We could use a rain for sure. The forecast says we could receive 2 to 4 inches from the storm (Cindy), although they’re predicting that more might fall in certain areas.”
Wayne Dulaney, Dulaney Seed Co., Clarksdale, Mississippi
“Rice is rocking along pretty well. Most everything is either at or just past midseason. Some late rice is still out there and it’s moving towards flood. We’re aiming to apply some fungicide next week on the really early conventional fields.
“Rice is really hitting that midseason stride where it’s bushed out, filled in and has a rich green color.
“We have a little grass pressure here and there, nothing major, and everyone has a spot or two like that. With all the wet weather this spring, most preflood herbicides were applied by air, so you always have corners the plane couldn’t reach.
“Our early planted soybeans look super. Beans planted in early May came up growing but didn’t catch a break in the weather. But last week when things improved you could see a visible difference. Those beans started growing well and really turned a corner.
“Generally, beans are shorter this year than normal. They’re not missing any nodes or fruiting points but the nodes are closer together.”
Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist
“We’re close to a majority of our rice being at or beyond midseason. Most of the crop is coming along and this is shaping up to be a decent looking crop.
“We do have weed control problems, considering the frequent rains and winds, and we haven’t had optimal conditions to operate on a timely basis. Generally, though, we have just a few ‘jail break’ situations with weed escapes.
“Things are blowing through the canopy in places, and this crop won’t be as clean as we saw in the last few years. People lost levees or couldn’t set them up when needed and then they had to hurry things along when any opportunity came along when they could move rice to flood.
“Random nutrient deficiencies are showing up here and there.
“With some of the earliest planted rice we could see some heading by the Fourth of July. We might even find a few heads popping by July 1 in south Arkansas where they’ve had better heat unit accumulation.
“Growers have been catching up on mowing around fields to take out heading grass that could hold rice stink bugs, but we also have grass escapes inside fields that could be a factor. With any luck, the timing will be out of sync for them to turn into a heavy problem in rice, but it’s too early to say how that could play out.
“We’re into a period with pretty ideal conditions for disease development. So far, we’ve had just a handful of reports of leaf blast, nothing widespread. We found it at about the same time it appeared last year. Conditions remain pretty warm and we have rains coming in now from the tropical system (Cindy), so disease could progress further. So far, no indication of sheath blight, but we expect canopies to be loaded with moisture, which would favor it.
“In the last 24 hours (from 6/22) I’ve received a handful of calls from people dealing with hydrogen sulfide toxicity. Unfortunately, people are finding it at the onset of reproduction, so it’s too late to do a hard drain-down on the field. The only option now is to back down the water. You have to do that to the point that soils remain muddy enough to avoid pushing plants into drought stress.
“That could give plants a chance to add new clean roots and allow the soil to re-oxygenate before re-flooding the field.
“People are still asking for clarification about when to apply midseason fertilizer. The application should go on after green ring and a minimum of 21 days after rice has been flooded. The emphasis is on the word ‘minimum’ – it’s actually better to wait for 4 weeks or maybe longer. You want to maximize uptake of that preflood nitrogen before applying the midseason shot. I went into this in some depth in last week’s report, so please review that issue for more specifics.”
Gary Bradshaw, Independent Agronomist, Bradshaw Agricultural Consulting, Richmond, Texas
“About 20% of our fields are fully headed out and a big part of the rest are steadily moving that way.
“Stink bugs are really light so far. We probably finished the last of the fertilizer and fungicides a week ago. We appear to be on the dry side of the tropical storm (Cindy) right now (6/22). Skies were cloudy yesterday but things are sunny today and the temperature is 95.
“This has mostly been a season without extremes in terms of rain and temperatures, about what you’d want or at least what we might consider a typical year.
“One client said he might cut his first sample around July 20. I’m thinking the rice won’t be ready until July 24, but we’ll see. We normally start cutting first samples around July 25 or July 26.”
Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist
“A good deal of our rice has now been flooded and midseason applications are going out on a big part of the crop. A very limited amount of heading is starting in a small portion of the crop that was planted really early.
“Unfortunately, we still have fields close to midseason that have yet to be flooded. With persistent rains, growers have had trouble getting levees up and fertilizer out. In places, the rice should have been flooded a month ago. In some cases growers need to kill weeds ahead of the flood but have already sprayed everything on that rice. The weather has really played havoc in these cases.
“The latest weather models show we could receive 2 to 4.5 inches from the tropical system (Cindy). Where growers have managed to get levees up, that will help with establishing the flood. One guy has his levees up and his gates rolled out but said he will see how much it rains. If it doesn’t, he’ll turn on the pumps.
“We’re not dealing with disease issues to date (6/22) but are keeping a keen eye out for them – but especially after this system moves through. I expect that dews will be hanging around longer, too.
“We’re hitting a little uptick in drift reports in the Delta, what sounds like Liberty and paraquat. Depending on what the storm does, we’ll make those farm visits tomorrow or early next week.
“A quick reminder: our rice field day is set for August 2 starting at 3:30 p.m.”
Arkansas Blast Alert – Confirmed on Jupiter at Green Ring in Woodruff County 6-20
Louisiana Harvest Decisions And A Potential Storm 6-19
Farm State Senators to US Trade Representative: On NAFTA, “Do No Harm.” 6-22
Arkansas Planting Still Ongoing; Preparing for Mid-Season N Applications 6-19
Louisiana Rainy Summer Conducive for Disease, Scout Your Fields 6-19
U.S. Rice Allowed Access into Colombia 6-22
Louisiana: Evangeline Parish Designated Natural Disaster Area from Flood 6-22
Arkansas Scout for Sheath Blight as Crop Approaches Reproductive Stage 6-19
California Armyworms Are Back 6-22
Arkansas Farmers, Ranchers Advised to Prepare for TS Cindy 6-21
Louisiana: 7 Upcoming Rice Field Days Through July
Louisiana: Rice Field Day, Crowley, June 28
Mississippi: Rice Producer Field Day, Stoneville, August 2
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