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Arkansas Rice Update 4-25-14
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

April 25, 2014                              No. 2014-7

Dr. Jarrod Hardke & Dr. Yeshi Wamishe

Planting Progress

Better lucky than good? Some locations missed out on most of the rain on Monday and were able to keep rolling this week. The same thing happened again on Thursday, with some locations back in the field this morning and others won’t be dry until about the time rain hits again on Sunday.

I’m sure a lot of downtime is being spent looking at the forecast and we all wish it looked better. National Weather Service predictions are indicating 2-3 inches of rainfall with the system coming through on Sunday and another 2 inches possible with the Monday/Tuesday system. Once we get past that point, the extended forecast out to Sunday, May 4 shows no more rain and mostly sunny conditions. However, temperatures will fall below normal, including nighttime lows in the upper 40s. Slow crop growth and exaggerated crop response to Command and ALS herbicides is to be expected. 


Picture 1. Running from the rain.

Figure 1 shows the updated planting progress for 2014 (black line) compared to previous years. The report for last week bumped planted acreage to 29%. Progress this week probably got us to over 50% of rice planted across the state, but we’ll see what the official number is on Monday. If we do hit 50% or greater then we’ll only be behind 2010 & 2012.

2014-7 Figure 1 Planting Progress 2008-2014

Figure 1. Arkansas Planting Progress by Week of Year, 2008-2014.

To Spray or Not to Spray

Spray those fields with preemergence herbicides even if you weren’t able to get your levees up. “But then I won’t get activity on my levees” you say. That may be true, but more rain will come and the wind will blow. Spray the field now and you might have to worry about weed control on your levees during the season, but wait to spray and you’ll be worrying about weed control on your entire field throughout the season. You can’t stay clean if you don’t start clean. Spray now and forever hold your peace.

Cultivar Selection Decisions as Planting Date is Delayed into May

Right on cue, the questions are coming in about when it’s time to pull the plug on certain cultivars based on delayed planting. Table 1 has a short summary of cultivar performance for some ARPT locations in 2009, 2011, and 2013 that were planted later. Why those years? They were similar to the weather pattern that we’re experiencing this year and led to planting dates similar to what we are about to encounter. What you can see is that the “drop-dead” date for some cultivars may not be as early as you think.

Most of the cultivars we grow perform very well through the first two weeks of May. Don’t believe it? Look at those yield numbers for Roy J and Taggart – routinely hitting 200 bu/A or more well into May. I emphasize those two only because they’re the first ones of concern as they’re later maturing than anything else listed. The others listed also perform extremely well planted into May. The decision is yours and no two years are the same, but the numbers look pretty consistent. However, the later we plant the longer it will take to get later maturity cultivars dried down and out of the field.

Table 1. ARPT Grain Yield of Selected Cultivars by Location & Planting Date.

Cultivar Planting Date (Yield in bu/A)
  Clay Co. 5-14-13 Desha 5-15-13 Stuttgart 4-30-13
CL111 161 206 190
CL151 190 134 222
CL152 151 201 184
Jupiter 192 157 238
Roy J 200 231 233
CL XL729 178 156 251
CL XL745 156 177 202
XL723 197 193 237
XL753 250 256 252
Taggart 183 238 226
Wells 198 221 213
  Clay Co. 5-11-11 Pine Tree 5-10-11 Newport 6-2-11
CL111 155 158 162
CL151 171 128 128
CL152 168 203 163
Jupiter 189 204 .
Roy J 195 230 163
CL XL729 207 173 160
CL XL745 192 218 144
XL723 183 226 165
XL753 276 260 225
Taggart 221 239 186
Wells 191 208 148
  Lonoke 4-25-09 Pine Tree 4-30-09 Keiser 5-20-09
CL111 142 148 174
CL151 175 164 156
Jupiter 246 181 204
Roy J 199 159 200
CL XL729 162 203 238
CL XL745 237 179 173
XL723 231 180 202
Taggart 203 159 176
Wells 209 163 198

Seedling Diseases and Fungicide Seed Treatments

Very early planted rice this year has been reported to show various levels of seedling blight in fields where seed had been treated with a fungicide. Water-soluble fungicides can easily be washed off seed if germination is delayed in wet years like this one. This is the main reason why fungicide seed treatments are not recommended for water-seeded rice. Protection from seedling diseases is better achieved with higher rates of fungicide seed treatments containing one or more active ingredient – provided that rice emergence occurs in two weeks. If you only use one active ingredient, you may not be protected from all possible seedling diseases.

Former Extension Rice Pathologist Dr. Rick Cartwright indicated no help for rice planted too early or too nasty or too deep. He encouraged fungicide seed treatments in early planting and no-till seedbeds. He stated these products are not miraculous and do not work in all conditions. To reiterate what Dr. Cartwright reported, you may or may not need to treat seed with fungicides in warmer weather where the rice emerges in a week. However, when using high value seed or very low seeding rates, it is the safe option. To read more on this go to Fungicide Treatment Guards Rice Seeds. In this site you will also read whether or not to use seed treatments for blast, kernel smut, or false smut.

The better the seedling stand early in the season, the more promising the yield potential. On top of the seed treatments it is important to note that the cultivar chosen, seeding method used, planting date, seeding rate, soil type, and environmental conditions play a substantial role in stand establishment. To read more on this, see page 31 of the Rice Production Handbook on Rice Stand Establishment.

DD50 Enrollment

**The DD50 is up and running!**

Some changes have been made to the online DD50 Program this year. Hopefully these and future changes will continue to make the program easier and more efficient to use. If you have any questions, or suggestions for improving the program, please let us know. You can access the online program 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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