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Arkansas Rice Update 8-30-13
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

August 30, 2013                          No. 2013-23

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

Crop Progress

Harvest is starting to get going in the central part of the state.  For the most part it’s isolated to early-planted fields.  Yield reports continue to be very positive – almost all have been over 200 bu/acre dry.  No milling yields to report so far, but I’m expecting to start hearing some very good numbers there as well.

While there are still some fields out there that have yet to head, a lot of fields are starting to be drained right now.  Several fields I’ve seen being drained definitely look to be on the early side with half (or more) of the kernels on the panicle still green.  It’s hot and it’s dry – so if those fields dry out too quickly and stress the plants, you may be hurting yourself.  It’s one thing to stop pumping a little on the early side, but make sure you don’t completely pull water off the field too early.

Just because you’re pulling the water off doesn’t mean you’re necessarily out of the woods on scouting/treating for rice stink bug either – if you drain around 21-25 days after 50% heading, you still have rice out there that can be “pecked”.  Late-planted fields with blast-susceptible varieties should be monitored closely, as there have been more reports of blast across the state this week.

Draining Guidelines:

Long-grain – 25 days after 50% heading.

Medium-grain – 30 days after 50% heading.

The DD50 numbers say that all of the rice in state should have reached 50% heading by now.  I know that’s not completely accurate because I’ve driven by fields that haven’t headed yet, but it’s close.  About 60% of the crop should also be nearing or have reached 20% moisture.  Hopefully the warmer temperatures are helping to move that along.

Temperatures next week will taper off some to the upper 80s – what will hopefully be nice and warm but with cooler nights to help prevent stress on the rice quality.

Table 1.  Percent of rice acres to reach 20% grain moisture during listed weeks of 2013 according to current DD50 enrollment.

Harvest Date


20%   moisture


Aug   31 – Sept 6


Sept   7-13


Sept   14-20


Sept   21-27


Sept   8 – Oct 4


Picture 1.  Harvest is underway.2013-23 Picture 1

More Thoughts on 2013 Rice Acreage

The FSA acreage report has been mentioned the past couple of weeks, and last week it was mentioned there may be a possibility of more acres showing up in the next report.  Well, after some digging, here’s “the rest of the story”.

In Table 2, the acreage is listed from 2008 to 2013 with acres planted, failed, and prevented.  It’s not hard to see that nearly 300,000 acres of rice were listed as ‘prevented’ this year.  While growers intended to plant 1.26 million acres of rice this year, they were unable to plant over 20% of that.  It’s been a tough year to say the least.

Table 2.  FSA rice acres reported as planted, failed, and prevented, 2008-2013.





























Out Standing in Your Rice Field

Rice Stink Bug

Rice stink bug numbers are now lower than they were in early-headed fields, but they’re still present in many fields in the last two weeks of heading.  Numbers are manageable and the treatments going out are doing what they should.  Many fields are in the third and fourth week of heading; remember at this stage the threshold is one rice stink bug per sweep, or 10 per 10 sweeps.  This is the stage where we are scouting and treating as needed to avoid “pecky” rice.

There are still fields that have not yet headed or are just getting there.  As early-headed fields finish up, stink bugs in those fields will leave in search of greener, later-maturing fields.  As we transition into this situation continue to scout closely and treat as needed.  Remember, in just 2-3 days numbers can go from low to extremely high.  Pyrethroids appear to be working very well.  When numbers are high, use the higher labeled rate, and with the high heat we recommend 5 GPA and consider an adjuvant / crop oil to help application.

Picture 2.  Rice stink bug adult feeding on a rice kernel.2013-23 Picture 2

“When can I stop spraying / protecting my rice from stink bugs?”  As long as rice is in the soft dough stage it is still susceptible to damage from stink bugs.  Because of differences in maturity within a field and even on a panicle, this can be a very difficult call.  What you need to do is determine the percentage of rice in the field that is still susceptible to damage.  Is the field fairly uniform or do you have those parts of the field that are behind or late?  On each panicle what percentage of kernels are hard dough and what percentage are still susceptible (soft dough)?  How bad are the stink bugs?  Are stink bugs at threshold, 2x threshold, 10x threshold?  These are the questions you’ll have to answer if you call…be prepared.  Be logical.

Scout closely and regularly, spray as needed, and don’t just spray because other folks are – their rice may be at treatment level and yours may not.  No one needs to be anxious to spray, we’ve had plenty of opportunity and will have for a while this season.  Just remember, “hard dough let it go”.

Disease Notes

More reports of blast in Arkansas

We received some more reports of blast this week.  These reports included neck/panicle blast from Greene Co. (Francis), Jackson Co. (Roy J), and Craighead Co. (Wells).  In many of these fields, the damage appeared marginal.  Leaf blast was reported in White Co. on Jazzman-2 (Picture 3).  This rice is at 3 in. joint to pre-boot as of Aug. 26, 2013 in a 12-acre field.  The plan is to treat the field with one application of Stratego (19 oz/A) followed by two applications of Quadris (Ref:  Brent Griffin).

As most rice across the state is close to harvest, these reports are useful to alert producers with late-planted fields with blast-susceptible varieties in blast-prone areas.  We still have rice just starting to head.  Keeping the flood depth as recommended to a minimum of 4 in. would help to slow down the disease progress.

Again, to use fungicides against blast, timing is important.  Rice does not benefit from the fungicides once the heads are completely out of the boot.

Picture 3.  Leaf blast on Jazzman-2.2013-23 Picture 3

The smuts:  No report of kernel smut so far.  However, false smut has shown up in some fields regardless of the preventative fungicides.  Kernel smut and false smut are both lovers of high nitrogen rates.  The severity of false smut in your field could serve as an indicator that you may need to reconsider the nitrogen rate you use for rice in the future.  False smut is less sensitive to fungicides than kernel smut; and rate and timing are crucial.  The fungicides we have on the market are used as preventative only and they do not completely suppress these diseases.

Bacterial Panicle Blight (BPB):  There are not startling reports of it so far.  In our field visits, I have seen a few panicles with the typical symptoms.  Straight-up panicle does not necessarily mean BPB.  For correct identification, see Picture 4 and go to:

Picture 4.  Rice with BPB has distinctive symptoms earlier rather than later.2013-23 Picture 4

Sheath Blight:  Generally it has been a sheath blight year and most fields have been sprayed with fungicides.  In thicker rice fields the fungus appears busy forming sclerotia (Picture 5) that will wait for the next host crop (soybeans or rice).  Sclerotia have the ability to survive in soil or crop residue for extensive periods.

Picture 5.  White structures are sclerotia on mature rice tissue.2013-23 Picture 5

Flag leaf tip-burn associated with sheath rot (Picture 6):  Yesterday (8/29/13), in a verification field of RT CL XL745 in Randolph County, we observed flag leaf tip-burn associated with sheath rot (Ref:  Lance Schmidt).  Panicle florets had also been affected by the sheath rot.  However, the damage was not extensive (less than 1%).  Only tillers with the sheath rot showed the flag leaf tip-burn and affected florets.

Picture 6.  Sheath rot lesion (left) and leaf tip-burn (right).2013-23 Picture 6


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Additional Information

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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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