Rice has started heading a bit more obviously in the Midsouth, while much of the rice in southwest Louisiana is headed now.


Armyworms are on the move in parts of the Delta and treatments have been going out.


Dry, hot weather continues to complicate rice water management in the Midsouth. In places, it’s taking a couple of weeks or even longer to pump up a flood. Growers have been pulling back on soybean and corn irrigation to keep enough water flowing to the rice.


Grass has become a fact of life through parts of the Midsouth this year, our contacts continue to note. The weather worked against herbicide programs and some consultants and farmers have pulled back from additional treatments. See comments by Jarrod Hardke.


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Scott Gifford, Gifford Crop Consulting, Manila, Arkansas:

“This is the grassiest rice crop I’ve ever seen. We have it everywhere – and by ‘we,’ I mean it’s like that on most every farm. We’re all comparing notes and everyone has pretty much concluded the same thing.


“All that rain early in the season was good for many things but not for herbicide programs. In early rice, plenty of rain tends to equal heavy grass pressure later, and that’s how things turned out this year. Everyone faced periods when they couldn’t spray when needed, so they fell behind on schedules and grass slipped through. Also, spraying by air was limited because of surrounding crops.


“Even in fields where treatments went out on time or nearly on time, grass still blew out the top. This is a season I won’t forget and just as soon never repeat.


“Rains last week were maybe a bit more widespread but totals still varied from zero to 3 inches. My growers are juggling their well time among rice, soybeans and corn even before we start irrigating any cotton. Overall, they’re doing a good job managing water, but it can be tricky. If you’ve got to shift pumping from rice to corn, you’d better do it fast and then start pumping on rice again to keep that crop pumped up.”


M.O. Way, Texas A&M Entomologist, Beaumont:

“Rice stink bug populations are heavy on the Lissie Prairie and in Matagorda County but not so bad in other regions. I’ve observed Virginia buttonweed in a field in Chambers County. This was a heavy population, and I’m not sure if the flood will take care of it. This is relatively late rice, and the farmer was just going to flood.


“We’re seeing fairly widespread populations of chinch bugs east of Houston, with reduced stands in some cases. It has been hot, so rice is growing and developing fast. In fact, some farmers are not far from main crop harvest. Loyant injury is becoming less noticeable, but it’s still there.”


Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist:

“We’re getting calls about fall armyworms moving into late-planted rice. With the weather we had early in the year, they couldn’t overwinter here, so what we’re seeing now have moved in from someplace to the south. Scout those fields closely.”


Andy Tonos, Delta Ag Consulting, Greenville, Mississippi:

“Most of my rice has the flag leaf out – either fully or partially emerged. Our oldest rice is receiving a fungicide now. That’s in rice at mid to late boot. By the end of this week, I’m expecting to find several heads in our very oldest rice. We also have 40 acres of hybrid that’s not up yet. It was planted after the grower moved dirt.”


Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana:

“Our rice is 100% flooded now (6/25). No fungicide has gone out yet. We’re just starting to see a little sheath blight here and there. We are spraying some armyworms in rice that’s just gone to flood. Herbicides are going out in places.”


Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist:

“We badly need rain. It’s hot and dry and water management is our greatest struggle this week. For plenty of growers, it’s difficult to gain a flood or maintain any kind of depth. Some fields were fertilized 2 weeks ago and still may not have water across them.


“These conditions are tied in with the scattered leaf blast reports that keep coming in. So far, these have been in blast-prone fields with tree lines, so dew hangs on leaves longer. Some people also rolled the dice and planted a susceptible variety. On top of all that, these will be fields where there’s trouble holding a flood in a normal year, much less in a summer like we’re into now.


“Nothing is burning down with blast. We’ve had some breezy weather lately, and that could help mitigate blast potential. But things may be teetering in places and it might only take a slight change to tip the outcome in a positive or negative direction. So, we need to be looking for blast as we move towards heading.


“Some fields have just started heading, based on photos people are sharing and sending to me. Once heading begins, it can go very fast. Over the next 2 weeks (from 6/28), about half this crop should be moving into heading.


“Surprisingly, sheath blight has blown out on a few fields. These seem to be isolated situations but sheath blight was pretty severe in a couple of cases. I suspect these are fields with high amounts of nitrogen and thick planting in places, plus it’s hot and humid. At the least, this is a call to action for active disease scouting.


“Regarding grass, we have plenty of it and it’s time to accept that fact and give up on these revenge herbicide applications. You can spend a large amount of money trying to clean up the crop but end up with a negative economic return. At some point you’ve got to say, ‘Hey, enough is enough’. Is it worth another $60 an acre to deal with some of these large grass escapes?


“I realize there’s some value in keeping grass seed out of the seed bank, but can you afford at this point to stick with a zero-tolerance approach, especially trying to make herbicides work in these conditions?


“Also, the overall effect on yield from barnyardgrass is less than you might think. Studies show that it takes 1 to 2 barnyardgrass plants per square foot to reduce yields. Barnyard grass always looks worse than it is. Nobody is happy when they have grass. However, this year we’re all going to have to accept more of it than we’d like and then move on with the rest of our lives.”


Wendell Minson, Bootheel Crop Consultants, Dexter, Missouri:

“Midseason is going out on probably half of my rice. That includes hybrids. I go early on them. And with all of our row rice, we do 3 shots, so it’s a different approach and we don’t call that midseason.


“The crop looks really good. But like everyone else in the Midsouth, we’re trying to clean up some grass. Amazon sprangletop is everywhere this time. It keeps getting a little worse and has become a bit harder to control.


“It’s a good-looking crop. The year started out cold and rice moved slowly but it has now caught up. Our rice didn’t catch too much rain lately but enough fell to help. If it stays hot like this, issues with blast could develop. I’ve found a little so far. If it does develop, that could be hard on the row rice where a hybrid wasn’t planted. We haven’t had a bad blast year up here in a long time but things are maybe lining up in that direction.”


Hugh Whitby, KC Consulting, Wynne, Arkansas:

“Probably two-thirds of our midseason applications have either gone out or they’re lined up. The hybrid boot shot is probably another week or so away from that. A good rain fell this past weekend and it was pretty widespread. Up until then, growers had trouble keeping the flood up and they had taken the wells off soybeans as much as they could.


“I had dry fields with joint movement because it took so long to flood up in places. We went 6 or 7 weeks without any rain across a significant area.



“We have been trying to clean up some grassy spots but have pretty much given up on that now (6/28). With these high temperatures, nothing seems to be working all that great. Disease-wise, we haven’t treated any rice yet.


“In corn, the fungicide and all the fertilizer have gone out and we’re just keeping it irrigated. In beans, some fungicide has gone out on part of our earlier beans and an insecticide was included with some of that. No widespread fungicide treatments have started in beans but probably will next week. We’re finding a few worms here and there and small numbers of kudzu bugs.


“As much as I hate to say it, we lost the battle with pigweed in soybeans in the same way that we lost the battle with grass in rice. We don’t have problems everywhere but these escapes are worse than we’ve seen in several years. At key times, no rain fell to activate herbicides. By the time it did rain, pigweed and grass were already up.”


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

“The crop still looks good. Nighttime lows are under or right at 75 and have been for the last week, which is good. That’s right at the borderline point when hotter nights can hurt potential. The forecast says we should remain at 74 or 75 for the next week, too.


“I’ve had more calls about sheath blight and a little blast is out there, as well. So far, though, disease pressure has been slightly less than we expect in an average year. We had rain, but things have dried out a little.


“Most rice in southwest Louisiana is headed now (6/28) and flowering has started in places. In northeast Louisiana, the crop is probably in the boot stage, on average.


“Where growers expect to ratoon rice down here, I suggest they consider applying gibberellic acid. In 2 of the last 3 years, we’ve seen an economic response in the second crop. The thinking is that it stimulates regrowth after first-crop harvest. If you’re spraying for stink bugs in the first crop, you can include it with that application. Be aware that you only make the application after flowering. Please remember that.”


Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist:

“We’re rolling and it’s full steam ahead. A lot of acres are in the mid-boot stage, with some in late booting. USDA did say we were 8% headed, although I have yet to see one field headed. That doesn’t mean there isn’t one out there someplace.


“Most calls in the last 2 days (from 6/28) have been about armyworm pressure, with most of those questions coming from the central Delta. So far, I’ve heard of a couple of whole fields sprayed, and some edge treatments went out, too. People are gearing up to do a lot of fungicide applications late this week and into next week.”




Rough Rice Prices Down   6-27


Mississippi Soybeans, Rice: Foliar Fertilizers, Midseason Nitrogen – Podcast 6-28


Rice: U.S. Gains Greater Foothold in Japanese Sushi Market   6-27


Texas Rice: Loyant Herbicide Injury – What We Know Right Now.   6-27


Arkansas Rice: Time to Scout for Sheath Blight Disease   6-26


Arkansas Rice: Getting the Most from Fungicides – 10 Tips 6-25


Arkansas: Horizon Ag Field Day, Jonesboro, Aug. 2 6-25  


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