Arkansas Rice: Problems in the Field; Planting Dates and Replants

    Tillering Rice. Photo: University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Rice Research Verification Program.

    Crop Progress

    The Arkansas rice crop was considered 95% planted as of Monday.  There are still a few acres out there to be planted the first time, but many are currently working on replant decisions related to flooding that will have an unknown impact on final planted acres.  It’s difficult to say exactly where we will fall.

    I anticipate that with the acres salvaged from the flooding and replants – we will settle in the 1.0-1.1 million acre range.  It’s still not unthinkable that we fall below that 1 million acre mark though.  For those seeing more rice being planted in areas than previously anticipated, much of that rice is seed that has been turned back in by others who decided to grow less rice.  So, much of what we’re seeing right now may be a “shell game” where acres are moving around but not necessarily increasing.

    Planting Dates and Replants

    With rains due this weekend the calendar date is getting pretty late.  However with still some rice to be planted the first time and replants to be made there are plenty of questions about what to plant.  Seed availability is still an issue but some prominent cultivars are becoming available as seed is turned back in.

    Attempting to show planting date data across years can be an interesting effort considering the roller coaster of the past few years.  Please see the 2014-2016 Rice Planting Date Studies summary for detailed information.  Results are presented as both grain yield in bushels per acre as well as in percent of optimum grain yield to give a more relative idea of yield performance over time as specific yields differ based on regions and production practices.

    In the Field

    There are plenty of issues going on in the field right now.  After a prolonged period of rain and cool nights exaggerating herbicide injury followed by warm days and high winds removing moisture, rice plants have had a rough go lately.  Last weekend’s rains brought a lot of rice out of that funk, and the focus has turn to those fields that “can’t get right”.

    ALS herbicide injury has been prominent this week.  In Fig. 1 the sick rice in the foreground received Newpath + RebelEX and the rice in the background received only RebelEX.  RebelEX contains an ALS herbicide – that combined with Newpath (also ALS) seemed to have been too much for the already struggling rice once the flood was applied.  The recommendation is to keep the flood very shallow to minimize stress and save as much preflood nitrogen as we can.

    Fig. 1. ALS injury to Clearfield hybrid.

    In Fig. 2 although last year’s bean rows are evident in this image, ALS injury from Permit appears to be the culprit on this high pH soil.  Land leveling was performed prior to the previous crop and this injury was likely exaggerated by the combination of high pH and the use of Command (which shouldn’t be applied to cut soil).  After only a few days the rice is already recovering some from this ALS flash.  Also waiting on soil sample results to see if a sulfur issue is in play.

    Fig. 2. ALS injury on high pH, cut soil.

    Fig. 3 is just one example of rice coming out of being submerged.  Plants are sticking to the ground but hopefully rain this weekend and warm temperatures will help it straighten out.  A thin stand is better than no stand at all.  The goal is to salvage at least 3 plants/ft2 on hybrids and 5 plants/ft2 on varieties.

    While maximum yield potential may not be there we can still minimize losses.  Spot replanting is not advisable unless the field can be sectioned off.  Co-mingling rice of different maturities can lead to a management disaster.  Avoid most herbicides during these times as plants will be unable to withstand much injury at this point, especially if roots are exposed.

    Fig. 3. Small rice stuck to the ground as floodwaters recede

    Tips for Multiple-Inlet Rice Irrigation

    Many questions these days about how to get MIRI right.  Find tips here.

    Also check the new app called Rice Irrigation available for Android and iPhone users to help with your MIRI setup.

    Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) Disaster Assistance

    Contact your local FSA office to determine eligibility.  Note that field inspections may be required before any work is done.  ECP Fact Sheet can be found here.

    USDA Fact Sheet on Replanting and Final Planting Dates

    In light of recent questions surrounding crop insurance dates for replanting and final planting dates, the USDA has put together a fact sheet of frequently asked questions.  That information can be found here.

    Preflood Nitrogen Recommendations

    The 2017 Rice Farming for Profit publication on pages 12-14 contains recommendations for nitrogen rates, urease inhibitors, and determining midseason nitrogen needs using the Greenseeker handheld.

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