Arkansas Rice: Harvest Remains Slow but Yields “Solid;” Soybean Desiccant Drift

    Rice harvest. ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

    Harvest progress still remains slow at this point without much to update.  Still calling yield reports “solid” so far with most seeming satisfied and only a couple of disappointments.  More rice is very close to being ready, but the slight drop in temperatures and increase in clouds hasn’t given us the grain moisture drop we need to finish maturing.  The couple of days of lower humidity this week didn’t deliver the heat and sun needed to go with it.

    A number of comments this week of samples being taken thinking rice looked ready only for it to still be 23-25% moisture.  The reality is that when conditions turn favorable, moisture can drop a few points in just a few days, but it can easily take a week to drop a few points if drying conditions aren’t good.

    The forecast for next week seems to get modified by the minute.  While the overall rain chances look very low, every day is forecast to have very high humidity (100% overnight!), be partly cloudy, and 30-50% chances of rain.  As Harry Hogge in Days of Thunder said, “this is not the kind of answer I’m looking for from you.”

    Let us know if we can help.

    NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast

    Fig. 1.  NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast. Click Image to Enlarge

    Preliminary Planting Date Yield Data

    Table 1 contains preliminary yield data from 2022 and 2021 planting date studies at the RREC at Stuttgart.  Reminder: the 2022 data is preliminary because we haven’t fully analyzed it yet – so it may look different in its final form presented later this year.  Since we start getting questions about performance data already, we’re showing this now for an ‘early look’.  Also note these were all managed with a conventional herbicide program so that everything could be included in one trial.

    Table 1.  Preliminary planting date study date for 2022 versus 2021 data.


    Grain Type

    2022 Planting Date

    2021 Planting Date

    March 21


    April 4


    March 22


    April 5


    Emerge 4/10







    Addi Jo L 184 196
    Avant L 204 196
    DG263L L 226 231 238 221
    Diamond L 221 207 209 199
    Ozark L 236 222
    CLL16 CL 216 211 215 206
    CLL17 CL 169 186 218 207
    CLL18 CL 224 213
    PVL03 PL 200 202 205 205
    RTv7231 MA ML 232 242 224 212
    RT 7331 MA ML 259 259
    RT 7321 FP FL 230 232 247 219
    RT 7421 FP FL 236 231
    RT 7521 FP FL 231 229 237 209
    RT 7302 L 274 248
    RT 7401 L 256 242 243 209
    RT XP753 L 246 242 246 215
    CLM04 CM 193 199 212 201
    Taurus M 231 233
    Titan M 200 186 233 176
    Aroma22 LA 152 161

    Grain Type: L = long-grain; M = medium-grain; CL = Clearfield long-grain; CM = Clearfield medium-grain; FL = FullPage long-grain; ML = MaxAce long-grain; PL = Provisia long-grain; LA = long-grain aromatic.

    Soybean desiccant drift on late season rice

    Some phone calls have started coming in asking about the impacts that soybean desiccant [Gramoxone (paraquat), Sharpen (saflufenacil), and salt (sodium chlorate)] drift will have on late season rice.  In addition, further questions have arisen about the impacts of potential drift of late season soybean herbicide applications to control grass escapes (glyphosate and clethodim) will have on rice at this stage.

    Rice News on AgFax

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    First and foremost, our goal should be to NOT drift onto neighboring crops regardless of the potential or lack thereof for injury.  Herbicides, particularly systemic ones, can do some very crazy things from time to time when plants are in reproductive stages.  Minimizing the likelihood for drift (proper sprayer setup, waiting for the right wind direction, etc.) will help to mitigate potential problems such as yield loss or reductions in quality that can cause dockages or outright buying point refusals.

    In the event that drift does occur onto our rice at this stage from a late season soybean application to control grasses or desiccate the crop, there’s a couple of things to watch out for.  First, minimal to no visual injury symptoms are typically observed from drift rates of herbicides when rice is in the reproductive stages.  The results of the drift incident will only be evident once the combine rolls through the field.

    When it comes to yield loss, recent research out of Mississippi has shown that simulated drift rates of Gramoxone (paraquat) can cause some fairly significant yield losses and reductions in grain fill due to drift occurring anywhere from 50% heading (16-19% loss) up until one week prior to harvest (5% loss).  Additionally, seed weight (grain fill) was reduced for all application timings of simulated paraquat drift except for one week prior to harvest.

    Simulated drift rates of glyphosate caused reductions in yield (6-19% loss depending on timing), but no losses in grain fill occurred at any point from 50% heading to one week prior to harvest.  In contrast, simulated drift rates of Sharpen (saflufenacil) and salt had no effect on rice yield or grain fill.  Additional research suggested that inbred cultivars tended to be more sensitive or result in more yield loss from late season drift events of desiccant herbicides.

    As we’re nearing the end of the season, and we see the light at the end of the tunnel, let’s make sure to take care to avoid these drift situations and allow everyone to finish off on a positive note. Good luck out there!

    Paraquat drift on rice

    Fig. 2.  Example of paraquat drift onto early season rice to show symptomology (later season drift may differ in appearance). Click Image to Enlarge

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