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.
More rice is heading in the coastal production areas of Louisiana and Texas. That part of our coverage area received heavy rains this week from a tropical system.
Rain also found parts of the Midsouth this week. Compared to spotty rains over the last several weeks, these storms delivered more water over a somewhat wider area.
Weed control remains the main focus in the Delta states as growers and crop advisors try to clean up escapes.
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Eddy Cates, Cates Agritech Inc., Marion, Arkansas:
“It’s hot and dry and we need rain. The forecast says there’s a 50% to 60% chance on Wednesday through Friday (6/20-23). We’re having a heck of a time getting a flood on rice and keeping the flood stable. We’ve been pumping in places for 18 to 21 days and still have fields that aren’t completely pumped up. Overall, the rice looks pretty good but we still have hot spots.
“Most of this rice is right at green ring, so this is a critical point to get water across it. After pumping up fields, we’re having to make some cleanup sprays where barnyard grass got past treatments. Dry weather worked against our early herbicide program. We tried to flush to improve activity and then made some applications before we started pumping up the flood. With all that, we’ll still have to make some cleanup applications.
“If we don’t receive a good rain this week, some soybeans will not get watered, since we can’t take water off the rice. Let me add that I’m an optimist. We’ll catch a rain this week.”
M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist, Beaumont:
“At least 15% of the Texas rice crop is heading. We’re in a storm system now (6/19). It rained 3.6 inches last night here at the Beaumont Center and it’s still raining through a wide area along the coast. Either we don’t have enough rain or we have far too much.
“This is shaping up to be a bad year for rice insects. Already, we’ve had some issues with rice water weevils and chinch bugs. I’m now receiving early reports of building rice stink bug populations in some areas.”
Tyler Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas:
“Our rice is pretty much all at green ring with up to an inch of movement in places. Where we’re just now going to flood, the push is to clean up stuff we missed. It’s not so much that we had a lot of escapes but that the weed pressure was really high to start with. We’re trying to flood and also are pulling out a Pandora’s box of chemicals to take out whatever made it through.
“We had a big fight with weeds in every crop this year, but growers have mostly caught up with it, I think. The main thing right now is to make sure everything is flooded up and that we can stabilize the flood.”
Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist:
“The way things worked out this year, this will be a pretty grassy crop. That’s all but certain. Too many things worked against timing and incorporating the herbicides. We couldn’t always spray when necessary.
“Over the last couple of days, it’s rained in places. Coverage was maybe better in the upper and southern parts of the state but just spotty in the middle counties. Temperatures in the last couple of days have backed off a little from what they have been. I won’t say it’s cooler, but temperatures eased back a few degrees. Plus, some clouds are back in the mix.
“These moderating conditions have lessened evaporation and improved water efficiency enough that more people can keep up with irrigation. Of course, the rain also contributed to that in a big way. It’s not so much that the weather changed but it has been tweaked enough to help.
“This came at a good time. With a lot of acres, we’re hitting joint movement and plants are transitioning into the reproductive stage. With somewhat lower temperatures, plants will be happier and hopefully will make more grain. At half-inch internode elongation, the plant is forming the number of kernels it will produce.
“If rice is stressed at that point – either due to intense heat or drought stress – the number of grains will be severely limited. This early grain formation is your number two yield component, running right behind the number of tillers. It will be great if this weather trend stays with us through June, with cooler temperatures at night, as well.
“One advantage of how fast this crop is moving is that we might finish up a lot of yield establishment before the really hot weather sets in – typically, that is the last 2 weeks of July and the first 2 weeks of August.
“A significant slug of this crop went in the ground at the same time in the latter part of April. With all the heat we’ve accumulated, a big part of the crop will be at 50% heading in the middle of July to the third week of the month. So, we may have much of this crop made before we move too deeply into that period of stressful heat.
“People are calling about making their midseason nitrogen applications. Just as a reminder, when making midseason nitrogen applications to varieties, we want to be at least 3 weeks past when the preflood nitrogen was incorporated and be past green ring. And a little later than that is better and safer to ensure plants have taken up all the preflood nitrogen. That way you get the biggest bang for your buck out of the midseason nitrogen.
“We still don’t recommend a true midseason on hybrids since that increases the potential for them to go down. We want that application to go at late boot after the flag leaves are out. Along with protecting standability, that helps with milling.
“Calls continue coming in about injury due to Loyant, which I also covered on the blog this week. We noticed a degree of injury in trial work with this herbicide over the last few years. Hybrids, we saw, were more sensitive and medium-grain varieties fell in right behind the hybrids. Long grain varieties were the least sensitive, although none were immune to injury.
“We were accustomed to seeing what we call ‘onion leafing,’ where the leaves roll up a little. We also saw ‘buggy whipping’ where the leaf tip is caught in the leaf collar, making a loop. It eventually flips out. All of that was pretty mild stuff – nothing to be overly concerned about and the rice tends to grow out of that.
“But this year we’ve seen more severe symptoms that look somewhat like delayed toxicity syndrome. We don’t think that’s what it is. Some symptoms are consistent with auxin herbicide injury, and that’s what Loyant is. Until this year, we had not observed injury of this severity.
“Plenty of people are looking over this and trying to determine what’s different this year and find any common denominators to explain what we’re seeing. Nothing has really been determined, nor do we have a cut-and-dried management practice for fields where this appears.
“I can say that a deep flood on sick rice always compounds the existing stress. A lot of fields are reaching the reproductive stage, so you certainly don’t want any stress then. The recommendation with sick rice is to lower the water. Bring it down to a very shallow flood or maybe reach the point that the soil is kind of soupy.
“Do not take that as a recommendation to dry the field down. With this heat, you might not be able to re-establish an adequate flood later, considering this heat and maybe a farm’s pumping capacity.”
Gary Bradshaw, Independent Agronomist, Bradshaw Agricultural Consulting, Richmond, Texas:
“It’s been raining all week, although I think we’re nearly to the end of this. Across the area I work it’s rained 4 to 9 inches. The forecast initially called for something like 2 to 4 inches. But it was a little late arriving and then hung around longer than expected.
“We pushed hard and got a lot done before the system moved in. Tomorrow (6/22), there’s only a 30% chance of rain, so maybe the air strips will dry out enough that we can resume applications in the first part of next week. I’ve set up quite a few acres for fertilizer applications next Monday through Wednesday (6/25-27). We’re in okay shape but just need to get this out.
“Our crop ranges from 5 days past PD to heading for at least a week in some of our earliest fields. We’ve been doing a bunch of fungicide treatments and boot fertilizer applications on hybrids, but we still have some of that left to go.
“I’ve been checking for stink bugs but haven’t found much. With all this rain, that’s a huge relief. It’s a bad situation when you’re trying to spray stink bugs but get multiple rains every day.
“Some clients had real problems with kernel smut in the past, so we’re staying on top of timing for that, especially with the first applications. Fungicide prices have come down so much that you can set up a good preventive program without it being a huge expense.
“If you miss that treatment window and then get into heading and lousy weather develops, you’ll wish you had done something. All those diseases that you don’t think about will suddenly blow up on you. Farmers have too much money tied up in the crop to drop the ball at the end.”
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:
“More and more rice is starting to head in southwest Louisiana. So far, the yield potential looks very good. The drought conditions have given us a crop with what appears to be extremely high yield potential.
“However, rainfall has picked up over the last 10 days, which brought higher humidity and a higher risk for disease. More and more calls are coming in about blast and sheath blight. Hopefully, we’ll return to a drier weather pattern and finish out this year on a positive note.
“A reminder: our annual field day at the rice research station in Crowley is next Wednesday. The first field tours begin at 7:15 a.m.”
Curtis Fox, Consultant, Gillette, Arkansas:
“We’re putting out midseason fertilizer, and this crop is moving right along. Everybody got a little rain this week. In spotty areas, some people received more than others.
“Corn ranges from tassel to brown silk. I don’t know of any that’s quite at milk. Even after 20 years, I’m still amazed at how fast corn progresses towards maturity. It usually takes 60 days from emergence to tassel and then about 60 days from tassel to it being done. Beans are mostly at R2. A few fungicides are being applied on R3 beans but the majority of the acres will be at that point next week. Insects are light, very light.”
Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist:
“Statewide, we’re pushing 80%-plus on flooded acreage and at least 50% is at midseason. Things are rolling along smoothly, generally speaking.
“Loyant herbicide is still a point of discussion. To date, we haven’t seen a lot of the severe injury on our rice that other states are reporting. Out of 3 fields where we were asked to look at injury, only one was concerning to me.
“Now we’re getting questions about efficacy with the herbicide. People fell in love with it early in the season and then fell out of love with it later. My colleague Jason Bond (Extension Weed Scientist) made that observation.
“We’re trying to sort through this. You can cite all kinds of differences between when someone might have used it the first time and then applied it again later. The field wasn’t flooded the first time but was on the second treatment. Maybe the grass was sick from being sprayed before, so efficacy was affected on the second round.
“I’m still talking to guys who like the material but I think there’s some degree of first-year jitters. We see that with practically every new herbicide that rolls out. You can’t make comparisons about this year versus last year because this is the first year it’s been commercially available. The main experience up until now has been research trials and such.
“Now it’s out in the real world, so we’re at the front end of the learning curve. Every year is different, so we may learn different things about it next year. Jason and I delved into this in a podcast last week.
“We’ve looked into 2 off-target drift situations this week, and we seem to have a couple every week right now, primarily due to glyphosate. I think that will continue until people finally finish spraying soybeans. We received our first call this week about armyworms in rice. It came from Bolivar County.
“For the most part, this crop looks good. Unlike some recent years, we haven’t had big issues with either drift or armyworms. Some pretty good rains fell last night (6/21) – from 1.5 to 2 inches in areas south of U.S. 82. Bolivar County caught rain, as well. This will give growers some relief on pumping.”
Dossett on Rice: Wild Market Swings – What’s Up With That? 6-20
Rice: Trade Mission to Japan Points to Market Opportunities 6-20
Arkansas Rice: Disease Management – Timing for Scouting, Herbicide Applications 6-20
World Rice Prices Drop 6-20
Arkansas Rice: Loyant Issues – Sorting Out The Particulars 6-19
Arkansas Rice: It’s a Jungle Out There, and There Are No Easy Answers 6-15
Mississippi Rice: Herbicide Tolerance for Loyant – Podcast 6-15
Texas: Eagle Lake Rice Field Day, June 26
Louisiana Rice Research Center Field Day, June 27, Rayne
More Rice News And Analysis
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