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Arkansas rice update – May 9, 2013
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

May 9, 2013                                  No. 2013-7

Dr. Jarrod Hardke and Dr. Bob Scott

Planting Forecast

A week (mostly) without significant rain chances?  I believe that qualifies as a drought these days.  The getting is still good for rice, so it’s time to make tracks if you can.  The current forecast is for rain on Friday, with models shifting from light accumulation (less than ½ inch) to now showing ½ to 1 ¼ inches with up to 2 inches in some locations.  Next week’s forecast is nothing but warm and sunny though, so plan accordingly.  This week’s USDA progress estimate came in at 48% of rice acres planted, but we should be able to make a big push over the next two weeks given the forecast.

I have received several questions about yield predictions for this year based on the table I provided last week showing yearly planting progress compared to eventual state yield.  I did compare this year’s planting progress to that of 2011 when we had a state average yield of 150 bu/A, which paled in comparison to last year’s record of 166 bu/A.  However, I believe the comparison between 2011 and 2013 stops at the planting progress figure.

In 2011 we accumulated 570 DD units from March 16 to April 30 compared to 336 over the same period in 2013.  Over the past thirty years the DD50 units we accumulate across the entire growing season are surprisingly consistent.

Looking at Table 1, you’ll find that from March 16 to July 15 over the past 30 years, our DD50 unit accumulation has ranged from 2,004 units to 2,820 units.  The most interesting part of that is that the low occurred 30 years ago and the high occurred last year – interesting stuff.  However, the average is 2,400 DD50 units and you can see that we remain surprisingly close to that on an annual basis.  That tells me that our lack of heat units so far suggests they are yet to come during the season.  So our rice may not actually be as far behind as the calendar might lead you to believe.  There are still a lot of heat units waiting out there to make a good rice crop.

Table 1.  DD50 units accumulated from March 16 to July 15 each year.

Year DD50 units Year DD50 units






























































Picture 1.  Time to get this train moving.

Rice Field - Land Preparation

Water-seeded Rice

I’ve been hearing more talk of people water-seeding rice, especially on heavy soil that growers cannot seem to get dry enough to drill.  While not our “go-to” way of doing things, it works if you do it the right way.  If you are going to attempt to water-seed fields where you originally planned to drill-seed, remember to take extra care when going this route.  There is a difference between water-seeding fields that have been prepared for it from the beginning and those fields where you’re forced into it at the last minute.  The success of water-seeded rice is greatly affected by soil surface conditions and flood depth, not to mention the wind and weather conditions, at the time it is seeded.

A few recommendations on seeding rate if you choose to water-seed rice:

  • Increase seeding rate by 30% over rate recommended for drill-seeded rice.
  • Tillage considerations:
    • No-till:  increase additional 20%.
    • Conventional tillage:  increase additional 20% if poor seedbed preparation (ungrooved).  No increase if good seedbed preparation (grooved).
  • Increase additional 10% if planting late (after June 1).

For more information on seeding rate recommendations, please see the 2013 RICESEED Update:

2,4-D on Rice Levees

This Friday the Arkansas State Plant Board has taken action to help growers in the 10 counties (Clay, Cross, Greene, Crittenden, Poinsett, Mississippi, St. Francis, Lee, Phillips, and Craighead) affected by the April 15th ban on 2,4-D by easing restrictions on the use of 2,4-D to control weeds on RICE LEVEES ONLY!  This easing of the restrictions are on levees only – all other restrictions on 2,4-D still apply.  However, no permit is required and there is no cut-off date for levee applications.  This will help farmers in these areas specifically with pigweed control but will also make levee weed control more economical in general.

Do not infringe on the other restrictions in place for 2,4-D.  don’t forget that although levee applications are allowed, you must still adhere to restrictions regarding distances and wind to sensitive species that were in place in addition to the overall ban.  This ban has been successful in reducing the occurrence of drift of 2,4-D to cotton.  If these changes result in abuse of the system, they could be put back into place in 2014.  For more information please visit the Arkansas State Plant Board website.

Use of Rice Seed Patented by the University of Arkansas

Several people have inquired about the patents that exist for University varieties such as Roy J and what the patents mean for growers.

All rice varieties recently released by the UA Division of Agriculture are protected by plant variety protection certificates and utility patents.  Growers have permission to save harvested seed for planting on land that they own, rent, or lease.  However, harvested seed cannot be sold or transferred to anyone else for planting.  All seed that is sold for planting must be sold by variety name and it must be produced per Arkansas State Plant Board seed certification regulations.  This is required so as to protect the integrity of the varieties, the breeding program, and the Division.

Further Update on Treated Rice Seed

CruiserMaxx Rice label:

DO NOT use in water-seeded rice.

DO NOT broadcast by air.

NipsIt INSIDE label:

Dry seed only.

Aerial broadcast is not prohibited but seed must be covered with soil.

Dermacor X-100 label:

Dry seed only.

Aerial broadcast is not prohibited, but you MUST incorporate seed into the soil.

Apron XL label:

Aerial broadcast and water-seeding not prohibited.

Maxim 4FS label:

Aerial broadcast and water-seeding not prohibited.

Dynasty label:

Aerial broadcast and water-seeding not prohibited.

Release label:

Water-seeding not allowed.  Aerial broadcast is not prohibited.

Please remember to carefully read all labels and follow all applicable directions, restrictions, and precautions listed there.

Pest Alert:  Aphids in Rice

There have been reports of aphid infestations showing up in seedling rice this year.  For more information, please see the article written by Dr. Gus Lorenz posted to the Arkansas Row Crops blog here:

Picture 2.  A lot going on in central AR.

Rice Field - Pulling levees

Cold, Wet Weather Optimal for Herbicide Injury in Rice

Dr. Bob Scott provides some guidance on herbicide injury in rice due to our recent weather conditions.  For more information, please see his article posted to the Arkansas Row Crops blog here:

Additional Information

Arkansas Rice Updates are published periodically to provide timely information and recommendations for rice production in Arkansas.  If you would like to be added to this email list, please send your request to

This information will also be posted to the Arkansas Row Crops where additional information from Extension specialists can be found.  Please visit the blog at


We sincerely appreciate the support provided by the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board for this publication.

The authors greatly appreciate the feedback and contributions of all growers, county agents, consultants, and rice industry stakeholders.

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