Arkansas Rice: Conditions Favorable for High Speed Crop Development

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Crop Progress

    Much needed rain has hit a large part of eastern Arkansas over the last two days.  However, southeastern Arkansas is still hoping for some irrigation-saving rain.  The extended forecast is calling for highs in the low-to-mid 90s and lows above 70 for the next 10 days with only very slight rain chances throughout the state.  With these conditions rice progress will be at maximum for the next 10 days – meaning you should be prepared for the crop to speed up.

    Another big question with the weather pattern changing – with the passing of Tropical Storm Bill, are we moving into a dry weather pattern?

    According to DD50 enrollment, virtually the entire rice crop is scheduled to have gone to flood now.  A few are behind schedule getting that accomplished but remain in line to get there soon.  We’re on the verge of hitting midseason with a majority of the rice crop (Table 1).  Also included for reference are the projected dates for 50% heading (Table 2) with the earliest fields expected to get there before the 4th of July.

    2015-17 Table 1 Internode Elongation

    2015-17 Table 2 50 Heading

    Blast Alert

    Blast has now been reported in 4 counties in Arkansas.  In order of report – Desha Co. (Jupiter), Prairie Co. (Jupiter and CL151), Arkansas Co. (CL151), and Greene Co. (Jupiter).  These reports are arriving one week earlier than in 2014.  Please see here for more information.

    2015-17 Figure 1 Blast

    Fig. 1. Rice blast on CL151 in Arkansas Co.

    Midseason Nitrogen Applications

    More detailed information on midseason N applications will be coming, but here is a brief summary of recommendations.  Under the 2-way split N fertilization system (preflood application followed by a single midseason application), 45 lbs N/acre should be applied in one application to pureline cultivars.

    Apply midseason N in one application a minimum of 3 weeks after the preflood N application AND internode elongation (IE) has started.  This means you need to meet BOTH criteria before making a midseason application – it should be at least 3 weeks since the preflood N went out your plants should be at or beyond internode elongation.

    This ensures that the rice is finished taking up the preflood N before midseason N is applied – maximizing the benefit of both applications.  Midseason N is taken up in 3-5 days.

    Autumn Decline

    Seek and you shall find.  After talking about Autumn Decline (Hydrogen Sulfide Toxicity) last week more field reports have been coming in.  Be sure to check roots when scouting fields.

    2015-17 Figure 2 Autumn Decline

    Fig. 2. Rare observable foliar symptoms of autumn decline.

    2015-17 Figure 3 Autumn Decline

    Fig. 3. Roots from the levee (left) and roots from the paddy showing black roots from autumn decline (right).

    Rates and Contents of Fungicides for Major Rice Diseases

    For detailed information on rates and contents of individual fungicides in rice, read the full article.

    CME Rough Rice Futures

    Both the July and September rice contracts spend the week trading in a mostly sideways 25 cent range.  The Chicago grains were all weaker Friday and rice futures ended the day about 9 cents lower.  The July contract finished the week at $9.72 – up 4 cents on the week.  The September contract closed today at $9.98 – up 3 ½ cents on the week.

    The monthly and weekly charts still have the July and September futures contracts in a down-trending channel that extends all the way back to last summer.  The daily charts reveal a bit more strength in recent weeks as final planted acreage is debated.  A key fundamental piece of information for the market will be the upcoming June 30 Acreage report.  Private analysts believe between 5% and 10% of intended rice acres did not get planted.

    A well-known private firm released acreage estimates today that indicate total U.S. rice acreage is about 4% (110,000 acres) below USDA’s March 31 Prospective Plantings survey.  Market reaction following the release of the report was negative however.

    It appears the trade was looking for a larger reduction in planted acreage, particularly in Arkansas.  The private acreage numbers released today apply to total rice acreage and provided no state-by-state breakdown of long and medium-grain acres.

    In the cash market, old crop rough rice basis has been steady at most locations over the past week at 75 cents/cwt under futures.  New crop basis has also held firm at 60 cents/cwt under futures at mills and around 80 cents under at dryers being common around eastern Arkansas.

    USDA Reports:

    Monday:  Crop Progress

    For the week ending June 14, U.S. rice condition ratings improved by 1 percentage point in the good-to-excellent categories to 69%.  This compares to 69% last year for the same week.

    Thursday:  Export Sales

    The weekly USDA Export Sales report for long-grain rough rice included shipments last week of 31,408 metric tons (692,428 cwt) – down from 47,994 MT the previous week.  Shipments were to Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

    Rough rice Net Sales were down to a four (4) week low at 5,915 MT (130,403 cwt).  There were 18,730 MT of old crop cancellations by an “unknown” origin.  The only new crop (2015/16) rough rice sales on the books so far are 13,000 MT to Colombia.

    Long-grain milled rice shipments and sales were also down from last week.  Shipments were down sharply to just 18,192 MT.  Net sales were down slightly from the prior week at 15,304 MT.  The only new crop milled rice sales to date are 1,320 MT to Saudi Arabia.

    There are only seven (7) weeks left in the old crop (2014/15) marketing year.  Unless export sales far exceed the recent 5-week average, it appears unlikely that long-grain exports will reach the current USDA target of 73 million cwt.

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