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Arkansas Rice Update 4-10-15
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

April 10, 2015                              No. 2015-7

Dr. Jarrod Hardke

Planting Progress

On Monday the USDA planting progress report showed Arkansas at 6% planted.  This represents a contrast between the northern and southern halves of the state.  Prior to the report, an estimate may have been that 20% of rice is planted south of I-40 and <5% north of I-40.

As of today (4/10), maybe as much as 40% of rice acres have been planted in the southern half of the state (ranging from finished to just starting).  In the northern half of the state that number is likely 5% planted.  Of that 5% in the north, the majority is in the southernmost counties.

Picture 1.  Most planted rice fields have been ‘finished’ with levees up and gates in.
Picture 1. Most planted rice fields have been ‘finished’ with levees up and gates in.

Overnight rainfall was kind to some and downright mean to others.  In certain areas a half inch of rain or less was received while some locations received as much as 4 inches – topping new levees in some cases.  Some may be able to get back in the field quickly if they were already dry.  The current forecast is for statewide rainfall on Monday, but we can only hope it’s a small amount that falls.  Fortunately, after that the forecast has cleared up for the rest of the week with only small scattered chances.

Picture 2.  Burndown / preemergence herbicide applications going out when the wind allows.
Picture 2. Burndown / preemergence herbicide applications going out when the wind allows.

Planting Window

There have been plenty of questions these days about performance based on planting date.  Results of planting date studies from a single year can be misleading – especially if you look at 2014 alone – an interesting year to say the least.  Looking at long-term averages is a safer bet when making these types of decisions.  If we knew exactly what kind of summer we were going to have it would make things much easier.  Right now I’d be happy knowing what kind of next week we’re going to have.

On the note of long-term averages, in Figure 1 are the yield results from planting date studies in 2004-2014 at the Rice Research & Extension Center near Stuttgart.  A quick explanation – for planting dates in a given year, the top yielding date is called 100% and the rest of the planting dates are a percentage based off the date that was 100%.  The overall take-home message is that rice planted prior to May 1 has an excellent chance to attain 90-100% of grain yield potential.  Rice planted after that date can still achieve successful yields, but luck starts to outweigh preparation.  Basically, it’s not yet time to hit the panic button – if the weather doesn’t provide a good planting window in the next couple of weeks that may change, but for now there’s still time.

Figure 1.  2004-2014 Percent of Optimum Grain Yield by Planting Date.

2015-7 Figure 1 Optimum Yield by Planting Date

Managing Seed Rots and Seedling Diseases of Rice


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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

More information on rice production, including access to all publications and reports, can be found 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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