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Arkansas Rice Update 8-23-13
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

August 23, 2013                          No. 2013-22

Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Dr. Gus Lorenz, and Dr. Yeshi Wamishe

Crop Progress

Let it drain, let it drain.  Field draining seems to be picking up speed these days.  Not only that, but the first fields began to be harvested early in the week.  Limited yield comments so far, but what I’m hearing are very good numbers – with what looks to be promising quality as well.

Temperatures are returning more to August form this week and for the week to come.  Maybe it’s not extreme heat, but high humidity, and no rainfall chances.  What does that mean for the crop?  Don’t drain too early.  We’re all looking at the same calendar so I realize it’s almost September and you’re ready to get this show on the road.  Trust me, with these high temps and no rain on the horizon; don’t pull the plug too fast.  If the soil dries out on you before the kernels are finished maturing, you may take a quality hit as well as a yield hit.  Everyone has worked too hard to make this crop in a tough year – let’s keep all we can of what we we’ve worked so hard for.

Draining Guidelines:

Long-grain – 25 days after 50% heading.

Medium-grain – 30 days after 50% heading.

According to DD50 estimates, 23% of the crop should be at 20% grain moisture by today.  While maybe not that high, it’s possible that it’s not that far off.  The first sample cuts I heard from last week and this week were in the 19-20% range and this weather should start drying things down.

Tables – Percent of rice acres to reach growth stages during listed weeks of 2013 according to current DD50 enrollment.

Table 1.  50% heading.

50% Heading Date


50%   Headed


Aug   23-29


Table 2.  20% grain moisture.

Harvest Date


20%   moisture


Aug   24-30


Aug   31 – Sept 6


Sept   7-13


Sept   14-20


Sept   21-27


Sept   8 – Oct 4


2013 FSA Certified Crop Acreage

Last week the first FSA report on crop acreage was released.  Total rice acreage for the state was listed at 971,631 acres.  However, the FSA’s acreage reporting deadline has been extended to Sept. 15, so these numbers may still increase.  See Table 3 for the difference between the report and a recent estimate.

Table 3.  Reason to believe the numbers may go up:  FSA acreage report (8/15) vs. USDA acreage estimates (8/12).













Out Standing in Your Rice Field


See all those blackbirds in Picture 1?  Not what I want to see in my rice field.  Unfortunately, there are no real effective ways to prevent this.  In the picture here, the nearest wood line is the one you see in the distance, but here they are picking on this field in particular.  Basically no field is safe, but the earliest and latest planted fields have been getting the worst of every problem this year.  If you have fields with significant blackbird problems, please give us a call.  We need supporting information, and your input, to look into ways to help prevent this problem.

Picture 1.  Blackbirds attacking a headed rice field.

2013-22 Picture 1

Rice Stink Bug

Last week we mentioned finding rice stink bugs nymphs showing up.  This week it was not difficult to find stink bug egg masses, and nymphs were very abundant.  While nymphs cannot fly, they’ll be adults soon.  Adults are very strong fliers and late-planted rice fields that are just beginning to head or will be heading soon will be prime targets for this pest.

Definitely keep a close eye on newly heading rice fields (threshold: 5 RSB per 10 sweeps).  Don’t forget about your headed rice though – those second two weeks after heading are when we need to protect ourselves from pecky rice (threshold:  10 RSB per 10 sweeps).

Picture 2.  Rice stink bug egg mass on a rice kernel.2013-22 Picture 2

Picture 3.  Rice stink bug nymph.2013-22 Picture 3

Disease Notes

Sheath blight:  Still moving actively in thicker canopy of susceptible rice (Picture 4).  Sheath blight can move very fast up the canopy and across the field in a few days.  In severe cases, sheath blight also can affect the panicles (Picture 5).  Although the weather this week is less favorable for sheath blight, you need to continue scouting to make sure the upper three leaves are clean for grain fill.

Picture 4.  Active sclerotia (white structures) in sheath blight disease development 8/21/13.2013-22 Picture 4

Picture 5.  Panicles infected with sheath blight in PREP field in Poinsett Co. 8/21/13.2013-22 Picture 5

Bacterial panicle blight (BPB):  So far, there is no report of BPB in commercial fields other than the first report in fields of Jazzman on 8/15/13 in Lee County.  On Wednesday (8/21), I saw up to five panicles having BPB in Producer Rice Evaluation Program (PREP) plots in Craighead County.  Experimental plots with foliage artificial inoculation showed prominent symptoms (Pictures 6 & 7).  Although there is nothing we can do once the rice shows symptoms, we would like you to give us a call if you are suspicious of some fields.  Late rice may have more BPB than early rice.  Any information regarding this disease in your fields could help us to research on possible management options.  For correct identification of BPB, go to:

Artificially inoculated rice with the bacteria that cause BPB:  See the discoloration when the disease starts (Picture 6) and as the crop matures (Picture 7).

Picture 6.2013-22 Picture 6

Picture 7.2013-22 Picture 7

Blast:  No new report of blast incidence this week. 


Need Help with DD50 Enrollment?  Call or E-mail Me or Your Local County Extension Agent

If you prefer to enter them yourself, please visit

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

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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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