Rice Weed Control – An Arkansas Crop Advisor’s Approach In A Challenging Year

    Mid-season rice field. ©Debra L Ferguson

    Whether battling broadleaf weeds, grasses, sedges or aquatics, a program approach provides season-long control of your toughest weed challenges. And in a season of relentless rainfall and planting delays, controlling the weeds competing with your rice crop is critical.

    Elmer Smith with Nutrien Ag Solutions in Heth, Arkansas, says weather challenges put growers in his area about 2 weeks behind schedule. “The rice crop is catching up some, but there is a lot more variation than normal in growth stage from field to field,” he says.

    Elmer Smith, Nutrien Ag

    To combat weed competition, Smith recommends a program approach that includes RebelEX herbicide for season-long weed control.

    Smith’s plan for season-long weed control begins with a herbicide tank mix sprayed at planting. He also recommends pulling levees early in case there is a need to flush for herbicide activation.

    As an early postemergence treatment before permanent flood is established, Smith recommends a treatment of 20 ounces per acre of RebelEX herbicide tank-mixed with 1 quart per acre of FACET herbicide plus 1 quart per acre of MSO adjuvant.

    “I don’t like backing off those labeled rates,” he says.

    Because water management is critical to achieving adequate weed control, Smith reminds growers to get water on fields as quickly as possible after herbicide applications.

    Ideally, 3 days after the postemergence tank-mix application, rice producers are getting water on the field with the permanent flood. “Turning on irrigation wells the day after that postemergence application gives 24 hours for herbicides to penetrate the plants before you put the water to it,” he says.

    On levees, Smith sprays Loyant herbicide at 1 pint per acre plus MSO adjuvant at ½ pint per acre to control pigweed and other troublesome weeds.

    For weed escapes, Smith adds a post-flood application of Grasp SC or Clincher SF herbicide before any barnyardgrass begins heading.

    Rotating herbicide modes of action throughout the season maximizes weed control and minimizes resistance development, improving profitability potential.

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