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Agricultural Programs
30
Nov
2012
2012 Rice Research Verification Program Final Update
Author: Ralph Mazzanti, Rice Research Verification Coordinator

The 2012 Rice Research Verification Program (RRVP) fields have been harvested and the preliminary results are very good compared to previous seasons.  This year’s RRVP fields included a mixture of non-Clearfield long-grain varieties and hybrids, Clearfield long-grain varieties and hybrids, and the predominant medium grain, Jupiter.  Due to the warm temperatures experienced in the spring, all rice lines in the program were planted in an early timeframe.  Much like the rest of the state’s rice crop, the stage was set for the RRVP to accomplish satisfactory results.  The planting dates for the program fields ranged from March 28th to May 1st with an average planting date of April 9th.  Average seeding rates were 70 lb/acre for conventional varieties and 23 lb/acre for hybrids.  Due to the earliness of the planting season, a majority of the program’s fields utilized fungicide and insecticide seed treatments.  Plant stands averaged 17 plants/ft2 for conventional varieties and 7 plants/ft2 for hybrids with an overall average of 11 days needed for rice emergence.

University of Arkansas soil testing and recommendations were utilized and resulted in sufficient nutrient availability for the rice crop throughout the season.  The N-star soil nitrogen test was utilized on 43% of the program’s fields this season and provided field-level nitrogen recommendations which resulted in satisfactory yields.  While lodging occurred only at minimal levels in RRVP fields, fields utilizing N-star had noticeably less lodging than those fields that did not use N-star.

Economical and timely crop protection programs were used in RRVP fields again this year and satisfactory results were observed.  Weed control was good and few economically important weeds escaped herbicide treatment in the fields.  The hot, droughty conditions helped suppress disease incidence in program fields and resulted in only a few fields reaching threshold levels for sheath blight.  Blast was not detected in any of the program fields this year and bacterial panicle blight appeared limited in field observations.  Some program fields were treated with a fungicide for kernel smut and false smut prevention in fields where these diseases have historically been a problem.  Insect numbers were expected to be high due to the warm weather conditions early this year, but less than one quarter of RRVP fields had rice stink bug numbers which exceeded threshold levels to warrant an insecticide treatment, with most of those requiring treatment being the later planted fields.  One program field in Clark County was treated for an above-threshold level of chinch bugs.  Rice water weevil and grape colaspis were not observed at treatable levels this year, most likely due to a combination of the weather and the use of insecticide seed treatments on more than half of RRVP fields.

A lack of appreciable rainfall across much of the state this growing season led to increased irrigation demand from other crops and made irrigation possibly the greatest challenge in RRVP fields this year.  However, weekly monitoring by verification coordinators, county agents, and producers allowed for adequate water levels to be maintained in program fields with satisfactory results.  Unfortunately, the Clark County field did run out of irrigation water later in the season during grain fill, which would have contributed significantly to the reduction in grain yield and milling yield observed.  Multiple inlet irrigation was used on 24 percent of the fields and those producers acknowledged the benefits of timely, efficient irrigations when using this system in rice.

RRVP field harvest began early as a result of the early planting season.  The first program field was harvested on August 10th, but due to the weather pattern change following Tropical Storm Isaac, harvest completion extended into November.  Nearly half of RRVP fields were harvested prior to Tropical Storm Isaac’s passage through the state, but those remaining began to experience regular rainfall and storms which led to harvest inefficiencies from extremely muddy field conditions and some lodging as a result of high wind.  The White county RRVP field lodged following Tropical Storm Isaac in late August and remained on the ground well into November, causing a reduction in yield.

Early planting and continued warm growing conditions throughout the season contributed to very respectable grain yields in RRVP fields this season with an overall weighted average of 188 dry bushels per acre across all cultivars.  Milling yields, however, were low like much of the state and averaged 51% head rice yield (whole kernels) and 70% milled rice yield (whole kernels and broken kernels).  While a variety of factors play a role in determining milling yields, the extended periods of high nighttime temperatures experienced this season, combined with rainfall events delaying harvest and causing repeated re-wetting and drying of grain, were likely the primary factors contributing to this season’s lower milling yields.

Table 1 provides preliminary grain yield and milling yield information from the 2012 RRVP fields.  A full report of the results, including the economic analysis, is forthcoming.  The Rice Research Verification Program coordinators would like to thank the producer-cooperators and county agents who participated in this year’s program as well as the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board for their continued support for this program as it completes its 30th year.

Table 1.  Grain Yield and Milling Yield for Fields Enrolled in the 2012 Arkansas Rice Research Verification Program

 

County

 

Cultivar

 

Acres

Yield

(bu/acre)

Milling Yield (Head Rice/Milled Rice)

Arkansas 1

RT CL XL745

51

199

51/70

Arkansas 2

Roy J

96

197

55/72

Arkansas 3

CL151

120

180

51/72

Clark

Francis

73

146

24/61

Chicot 1

CL151

50

242

51/70

Chicot 2

CL111

47

182

53/71

Clay

RT XL753

79

196

49/70

Conway

RT XL753

53

211

51/69

Craighead

Roy J

58

196

52/69

Cross

CL151

127

162

60/72

Desha

RT CL XL745

50

172

45/70

Independence

Jupiter

29

221

60/70

Jackson

Taggart

36

171

41/71

Jefferson

RT XL753

28

198

60/70

Lee

Roy J

83

196

49/70

Lincoln

RT XP753

40

176

43/67

Phillips

RT CL XP745

40

178

51/72

Poinsett

Jupiter

107

197

59/69

Prairie

RT CL XL745

82

193

56/72

Randolph

RT XP723

68

184

54/70

White

Taggart

25

146

50/72

 

1342 Total

188 Avg.

51/70 Avg.

Information provided by Ralph Mazzanti and Lance Schmidt, Rice Research Verification Coordinators.


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