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Late Planted Rice, Yield Reduction Potential, and Tips for Variety Selection
Author: Chuck Wilson, Extension Agronomist - Rice

With 50% of the crop left to plant and much of the state likely to be flooded until May 20, we are reaching decision time. Drastic conditions require drastic measures. However, not everyone is in that condition. Table 1 shows estimated rice yield potential in a given planting window. You can expect about 10% yield loss when planting in late May. The yield loss drops to 20 to 30% in June.

Table 1. Predicted relative yield potential for drill seeded rice in central Arkansas by seeding date.

Relative Yield Potential

Actual Yield Potential Seeding Date Range





95.0 – 100.0

166 – 175 March 23 May 20

90.0- 94.9

158 – 165 May 21

June 1

85.0 – 89.9 149 – 157 June 2

June 11

80.0 – 84.9 140 – 148 June 11

June 18

70.0 – 79.9 123 – 139 June 19

June 30

† Actual yield potential is based on a 100% relative grain yield of 175 bu/A at 12% moisture.

In the past, we have provided cut-off dates for specific varieties. We have moved away from those types of recommendations and now provide more general guidelines for late planted rice. In general, late planted rice is anything planted beyond May 10 in northern Arkansas, May 15 in central Arkansas and May 20 in southern Arkansas.

Specific variety recommendations for late seeded rice (June seeding dates) should be made on yield performance in seeding date studies, disease ratings, seed availability, and planned seeding date.

Although specific cut-off dates for each variety are no longer given, some general recommendations can be obtained from planting date studies and disease ratings. Of the current available varieties that have been tested in seeding date studies, Bengal, Jupiter, Wells and the hybrids are recommended for late planting. Francis can be added to this list for some growers because it yields very well planted late. HOWEVER, be careful planting Francis late in areas where an adequate flood may not be possible. Francis is very susceptible to rice blast and this disease tends to be more likely for late planted rice. I would definitely not plant Francis after May 15 if I had any questions about my ability to maintain a good flood. There are certain varieties that historically do not perform well planted late and should be avoided. Examples include CL 161, CL 171 AR, Cybonnet, Cocodrie, and all very early season varieties, such as Spring and Jefferson. In general, “Our best varieties are our best varieties planted late.”

When is the absolute last day to plant rice? Well, it depends. What are your alternatives and how do they compare to June planted rice? It may be June 1 if your alternatives are more economical than rice. However, for most varieties, rice planted after June 20 is very unlikely to mature in the fall. I have planted rice around July 1 a couple of times but have never gotten it to mature enough to harvest. The potential returns from other crops such as soybeans or corn should be compared to rice planted during the same window.

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