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Arkansas Rice Update 8-15-14
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

August 15, 2014                         No. 2014-23

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

Crop Progress

Harvest!  Actually received word of some rice in the state being cut this week.  Many more fields are being actively drained, and all signs point to the pace picking up.  Rain this weekend and early into next week will slow some progress.  However, temperatures are expected to be in the low to mid-90s for the next 10 days, helping us to speed up grain fill and drying (depending on the stage of your rice).  No extreme temps mean conditions remain ideal for both yield and quality.

In Table 2 is a summary of the FSA Crop Acreage report released today.  Rice acres are reported as 1.37 million acres – this is well below previous estimates of 1.5 million acres.  However, if you look at the total acreage numbers, we’re 0.5 million below last year’s total, so we should increase by that amount by the time the final numbers are released in January.

If you apply a little fuzzy math to these crop acreage numbers, an additional 200,000 rice acres could be added for the January report.  That would put the crop right in the line with or above 1.5 million acres.

Of the rice acreage reported so far, 1,172,873 acres are long-grain (86%) and 193,003 are medium-grain (14%).  Future updates will provide a breakdown of that acreage by cultivar.  This week also provided the first NASS yield estimate of 7500 lbs/acre (167 bushels/acre).  This is only slightly behind last year’s record of 168 bu/acre and seems a little high given the difficulties of the year.

Table 1.  Percent of rice acres set to reach harvest moisture during listed weeks of 2014 according to DD50 enrollment.

2014-23 Table 1

Table 2.  2014 FSA Crop Acreage – August 15, 2014.

2014-23 Table 2

Out Standing in Your Field


Everyone has their own take on when to drain fields.  And for good reason – nobody knows a field better than the one farming it.  But the research-based recommendation is to drain long-grain cultivars about 25 days after 50% heading and 30 days for medium-grains.  Remember that when making the decision to drain, it’s important to consider the weather forecast (hot & dry vs. rainy), how quickly the field can be drained, and soil type.  And this year, keep field uniformity in mind, don’t pull the water before some areas of the field have finished maturing or they may not finish out.


Reports of neck blast and collar blast continue to come in.  Some fields reporting up to 10% affected panicles in areas.  If you have any blast concerns, be sure to maintain a deep flood greater than 4 inches.  Preferably after midseason a 6-8 inch flood if you can get it that deep.  Timely fungicide applications can be particularly helpful where flood depth is a concern, areas with a history of blast problems, and susceptible cultivars.  Just because you haven’t found blast lesions in a field doesn’t mean they aren’t there!  Keep scouting!


Rice stink bugs numbers have fallen off dramatically.  Very few locations reporting numbers anywhere near threshold levels.  Continue to monitor, especially as we get to the later heading fields that may draw in higher numbers.

The interesting insect problem of the week was a report of short-horned grasshoppers (Pictures 1, 2) feeding on headed rice.  A fair amount of damage was found where they were feeding directly on kernels (Picture 3).  Before jumping out there with just any old insecticide, give us a call so we can help you with insecticide selection and get things under control on the first shot.

Picture 1. Short-horned grasshopper on weeds along field edge.

Picture 1. Short-horned grasshopper on weeds along field edge.

Picture 2. Short-horned grasshopper "smiling" in heading rice.

Picture 2. Short-horned grasshopper “smiling” in heading rice.

Picture 3. Damage from short-horned grasshopper feeding on panicles.

Picture 3. Damage from short-horned grasshopper feeding on panicles.


Enroll fields in the DD50 Program here:

Problems or questions: / 501-772-1714.


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 for this publication provided by the rice farmers of Arkansas and administered by the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.

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

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