Use of sodium chlorate in rice continues to be a valuable tool for as a harvest aid. The key here is that it’s a tool and not necessarily a fit for all acres and situations. Some of our research in recent years has improved our knowledge our knowledge on how best to use this tool to maximize its benefit for rice harvest.
- Complete rice harvest in 5 days or less after application of sodium chlorate. Any longer and heavy dew and/or rain can reduce milling yield. Excessive drying of panicle branches can increase shattering potential and excessive plant desiccation can increase lodging. The greatest losses in small-plot research trials have been observed from waiting over 5 days to harvest. You can get lucky if conditions happen to be favorable, but the losses can be substantial if conditions are poor.
- Do not salt varieties until grain moisture is below 25% (e.g. Diamond, CLL16, etc.)
- Do not salt hybrids until grain moisture is below 23% (e.g. XP753, RT7521FP, etc.)
- Once grain moisture falls below 18%, do not salt the rice. This is an absolute cut-off for medium-grains, especially Titan. Long grains may be able to cheat below 18% but harvest needs to start immediately. In research and some field observations, applications below 18% have been accomplished with little negative impact, but conditions were favorable and harvest occurred immediately in those instances.
- The lower the grain moisture at time of application, the more you should consider using a lower rate of sodium chlorate. A 1-gallon rate of 5 lb material is an effective rate especially at higher moisture rice, but as rice approaches lower ranges, a 0.5 gallon rate may be justified to decrease the risk of over-drying the rice.
Most of the Delta received rain this week whether it needed it or not. Many were likely happy to get a decent rain for the first time in a while, but it caught some with rice draining and a lot of bean water going so things backed up a bit in places. Next week looks pretty warm with no real rain chances after Saturday. The warm and sunny weather will hopefully finish a lot of rice up quickly so we can get more into harvest on this side of September.
Harvest reports are still very limited, but the few reports so far have been very solid. Certainly not enough to paint any kind of picture on expectation for the year, but the overall crop does look solid, so expectations are for a successful harvest. Let’s keep those tropical systems spinning away from the Mid-South this year, shall we?
Rice Field Day Videos Online
Aug. 20, Rice Field Day videos are now available online here. These are “view on your own” videos covering weed science, entomology, pathology, breeding, irrigation, and fertility. Note there is a separate link on the page to view videos for CEU credit (here). These videos will be up for a while so they don’t have to be viewed immediately.