Rice Harvest – Southwest Louisiana Starts Off With A Bang – AgFax

    ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Owen Taylor, Editor

    Here is this week’s issue of AgFax Rice, sponsored by the Southern rice team of Corteva Agriscience.


    Rice harvest in the coastal belt partly stalled this week due to rain. Farmers in southwest Louisiana have cut enough acreage to see a great deal of promise in at least the early crop. See comments by Dustin Harrell. In our Also Of Note section, connect to recent yield reports Harrell provided.

    A possible tropical storm is forming in the Gulf of Mexico. At least some models show it heading towards stretches of the Louisiana and Texas coasts.

    More rice is heading in the Midsouth. This continues to be a light disease year in the region. Hotter and drier conditions this month have helped hold blast and sheath blight in check.

    Rice stink bugs treatments are going out on a scattered and localized basis in Arkansas in early-heading fields. On the whole, numbers remain moderate and very manageable.

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    Keith Collins, Extension Agent, Richland, Ouachita and Franklin Parishes, Rayville, Louisiana

    “In northeast Louisiana, the rice planted in early April is starting to head. A good deal of the May-planted rice is no later than early boot. Row rice planted in mid-May was at green ring to PI last week (week of 7/13). We have some late-May to early-June rice not far behind in maturity.

    “March-planted corn looks really good. I’m a little concerned to see how the remaining corn comes out since we didn’t finish planting in this area until the middle of April, which is out of our optimal window. Time will tell.

    “About 200 plus acres of early-maturing corn has been harvested on one large farming operation, and that’s the only harvest I’ve heard of. One guy said he will harvest a little corn at the end of this week, but it will be the first week of August or later before we will really be in full harvest.

    “A big part of our soybean crops is at R4 to R5.5 or later, and beans look pretty good at this point.

    “We haven’t had redbanded stink bug (RBSB) pressure yet but we are just hitting the growth stage when numbers start building.”


    David Hydrick, Hydrick’s Crop Consulting, Inc., Jonesboro, Arkansas

    “In rice, we started seeing scattered heads within the last week, but we don’t have anything that I would say is 10% to 20% headed. We’ve mostly been finding split boots over the last seven days, and I saw a lot of split boots today (7/20).

    “Plenty of fungicide applications have been underway, and a lot of sheath blight materials were included with kernel smut sprays. Five fields of row rice I looked at today were covered up with sheath blight – 50% positive stops. It seems to be a bigger problem in row rice than it is in paddy rice. I don’t have a good explanation for that, but we notice it more in fields that have been in continuous rice.

    “Where row rice is in mid-boot, we’re putting out a last shot of urea. We will probably start pulling the water off the earliest paddy rice in 4 to 5 weeks.

    “In soybeans, we have made a lot of fungicide application in the last couple of weeks. We haven’t seen a big moth flight in the beans yet. Most of the beans are at early R3 to R4, and everything is at least in full bloom.

    “The earliest corn is at mid-dent, and the youngest is at milk stage. The youngest corn has 2 to 3 weeks of watering left. I think we’ll be cutting the first of the higher moisture corn in a month.”


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

    “Farmers are cutting rice now. I don’t have any yields yet to put in writing, but the general trend sounds good. Very little disease has developed. Farmers who are cutting rice are worried about rain in the forecast.

    “I am going to look at a few fields with possible planthoppers, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

    “Last week, I observed South American rice miner damage in several fields near Nome. It wasn’t severe enough to require treatment, but the injury seemed pretty widespread throughout fields. I have not seen this bug for quite a while.”


    Gus Lorenz, Arkansas Extension IPM Specialist

    “We’re beginning to see a lot of headed rice, and rice stink bugs (RSB) actually aren’t as bad as we thought they would be. When we sweep wild hosts like barnyardgrass, plenty of immatures are in the net but not many adults.

    “As more rice begins to head, RSB will spread out more and not be such a problem. We are treating a few of the early-headed fields where RSB hit threshold. Our threshold for the first two weeks of heading is 5 per 10 sweeps, and we’re seeing up to 1 RSB per sweep in places. Still, though, the numbers aren’t as high as I expected. In bad years, we’ll hit 50 to 100 per 10 sweeps.

    “Both our native and redbanded stink bugs have leveled off in soybeans. Everyone is still seeing redbanded, but the counts are pretty low.

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    “We’re hitting treatment level for bollworms in beans from the Louisiana line to Pine Bluff, but they are scattered. The highest count I’ve heard is 15 in 25 sweeps, and threshold is 9. They are most commonly being found in the bottom parts of the fields where water stood and beans didn’t grow off as well. If you’re scouting for them, start there.

    “A huge number of bollworms are still in the corn. We were doing counts in corn yesterday (7/21) and found 3 to 8 worms per ear. So, this will be a big flight when they cycle out of corn and hit the cotton and soybeans. That could happen in a week or less.

    “The numbers likely will increase in the week of July 27 since our trap catches have bottomed out this week. The next couple of weeks will be big for bollworms.”


    Bobby Golden, Mississippi Extension Rice and Soil Fertility Agronomist

    “This week, we’ve taken a lot of calls, visited a bunch of fields and studied photos that folks sent us. Many people are finding things that concern them, or they don’t think the rice looks quite right. A number asked about applying more nitrogen.

    “Jason Bond (Extension Weed Scientist) says this is the time of the year when we’re in a lull just before rice heads and people start thinking some fields look bad. Maybe things slowed down enough that they can pay more attention.

    “In certain cases, fields actually look pretty good but growers want to apply more nitrogen and push the crop to that next level. What we’ll find is that the rice already has a good color, and we try to talk them back from that idea. Let’s not over-fertilize rice and create more problems than you can easily fix.

    “In row rice, we do have instances where water mostly ran down the rows and didn’t hold long enough, so the ground went from wet to dry to wet multiple times, causing some nitrogen loss. We’re seeing this on the upper end of fields, and in specific fields we’ve recommended 50 units of nitrogen to restore a good green color on that that part of the field.

    “In north Mississippi this week, we saw preflood herbicides going out, so we have found what must be the last rice field planted in Mississippi in 2020.

    “USDA says we’re 65% headed. Jason and I did a loop around much of the central and north Delta, and I didn’t see a field that was full-blown headed. That 65% estimate doesn’t line up with what I’ve seen, nor does it fit with this crop’s timing. If we’d had a normal planting season then, yes, maybe we’d be at 65% heading. But the biggest part of our crop wasn’t planted until mid-May, which effectively is a month later than average.

    “A few people sent me photos of fully headed fields, maybe five or six, and half of those were south of U.S. 82..

    “I’m estimating that 40% is headed maybe, with heavy emphasis on the word maybe.

    “We saw our first blast lesion in a field yesterday (7/22), but it wasn’t enough to warrant concern. Sheath blight has been relatively mild. So far, we haven’t received any calls about severe disease development this year.”


    Gary Bradshaw, Independent Agronomist, Bradshaw Agricultural Consulting, Richmond, Texas

    “A few of my client have started harvesting rice. Some cut a sample and it was still a bit on the green side, so they’re waiting a little longer.

    “We’re trying to make decisions on when to drain certain fields, but with the weather we’re having, it’s hard to know. It’s supposed to rain all week (as of 7/21), but last week it was hot and dry.

    “Stink bugs have been lighter than normal this year. I’ve probably sprayed an insecticide on only two-thirds of my acres at all, so a third weren’t treated for stink bugs.

    “Growers planted a big part of our crop within a narrow period, so a good deal of rice will come out at the same time, too. If the weather straightens up, a lot of people would really get going at the end of this week and next week.

    “One client in the western part of Wharton County has been cutting for 5 or 6 days. Everyone else has needed a few more days and then they’ll be ready.”


    Wendell Minson, Bootheel Crop Consultants, Dexter, Missouri

    “Our rice is just starting to head, and we began seeing the first heads Saturday (7/18). That’s pretty normal for our rice. But a lot of our rice also just got flooded.

    “Overall, I think the crop looks good. We’re just seeing some grass issues. We sure have strongly colored rice, maybe the strongest color I’ve ever seen. When it’s a dark green like this, that’s usually a good sign.

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    “It’s looking like we’re on schedule. A little of our early rice will probably come out before September 1, which is our general goal. At one point, we didn’t see that happening. We had such a slow start because we planted early and it was so cold, but the crop caught up.

    “Soybeans have been really quiet. We’ve had the least amount of insect issues on soybeans that I’ve ever seen. We aren’t finding any worms, while leaf feeding is the least I’ve ever found.”


    Hugh Whitby, KC Consulting, Wynne, Arkansas

    “The rice has started to head – not everywhere, but some fields are heading. I’m spraying a few fields for stinkbugs, but disease has been almost nonexistent. The weather has been hot and dry, but we’re about to start putting out preventative fungicides because we’re expecting a rainy week.

    “In soybeans, we’re just beginning to see a few worms. A lot of preventive fungicides are going out right now, and we’re treating for worms as we do that. My earliest beans are probably at about R4.

    “The corn is pretty much done, and we’re just keeping it irrigated.”


    Jarrod T. Hardke, Arkansas Extension Rice Specialist

    “Full-blown heading has started on a wider basis, and it’s a pretty exciting time. We’re not at the finish line and harvest is still ahead of us, but we have made it through the bulk of our management decisions.

    “The weather has changed in a good way in terms of potential disease problems. With this hotter, drier environment, calls about sheath blight and blast died down. Both diseases are still out there in places, so we need to keep watching for them, but no huge, aggressive outbreaks are unfolding.

    “Also, rice stink bugs (RSB) haven’t turned into a huge concern now that rice is heading. It hasn’t been a problem to find RSB in grass in ditches and even on grass in fields. But a lot may depend on where they are in the cycle at a given time. Changes in the weather could influence things, too.

    “Certainly, RSB hit or approached threshold in a number of fields, and treatments have gone out, but numbers haven’t been crazy. Based on heavy populations in wheat and corn earlier, we expected more initial pressure. Maybe they’re holding up in alternate hosts to some degree. Again, continue to scout closely.

    “People are asking about late-season potassium deficiency, which is showing up more so than usual. If rice is heading or will be by the time an application might start, there’s no point in doing anything. If it was earlier, you can more easily justify taking action. We’ve seen a yield response all the way out to late boot when we’ve applied 60 pounds of K2O. The supplemental application made a definite net return, even that late. We prefer to catch it earlier, of course.

    “It won’t cause a huge yield hit in most cases, but a farmer who’s expecting a 200 bu/acre average might only cut 185. That’s irritating but not the end of the world. The field simply ran out of potash.

    “The deficiency is somewhat widespread this year. When you have a season that starts out wet, you end up with a shallow-rooted crop that doesn’t have the capacity to pull out all the potash it needs. I’m seeing this in fields where farmers didn’t apply an adequate rate of potassium but also in fields where an adequate amount went out. Root masses didn’t fully develop, and we went to flood like that. In a wet year, it’s just part of the game.”

    AgFax Rice: Midsouth/Texas is published by AgFax Media LLC
    Owen Taylor, Editorial Director.
    Working-Copy%5B1%5D.jpgThis weekly report is distributed during the cotton production season. It is available to United States residents engaged in cotton farming, field scouting and other qualifying ag professions. Mailing address: 142 Westlake Drive, Brandon, MS 39047. Office: 601-992-9488.
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