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Arkansas Rice Update 4-25-15
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

April 25, 2015                              No. 2015-9

Dr. Jarrod Hardke

Planting Progress

Haven’t missed one yet.  This entire wet spring most conversations have ended on the same note – we’re due to miss a rain and when that happens it’ll be game on.  That just hasn’t really happened, particularly north of I-40.  In between showers the past couple of days some were able to get in a little rice where they hadn’t until now.  Still some waiting to drop that first rice seed in the ground though.

More overall planting progress info in Figure 1.  We’re at 28% planted based on Monday’s numbers which is behind the 5-year average of 44%.  The southern half of the state is probably around 60% planted and the northern half around 15% planted.  By my numbers that would put us at about 30% planted overall right now.

Figure 1.  Rice planting progress, 2007-2015.

2015-9 Fig. 1 Planting Progress

The extended forecast doesn’t look too bad right now.  At the moment only Tuesday (4/28) has major rain chances listed for the next 10 days.  That’s a large departure from the past few months where it’s been raining more than it hasn’t been raining.  It’s time, I think.

There’s one thought you should consider about when preparing for the upcoming stretch run.  If you have multiple cultivars to plant and you don’t know which field will dry to go first, empty the drill if it has seed in it.  Be sitting ready to put whatever in the drill is ready and get after it.  Getting caught needing to clean the drill out when the wrong field gets ready first is a drag we don’t need right now.

Picture 1.  Flag the technology – it’s never too early!

2015-9 Picture 1 Flag the Technology

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

As we approach the first of May, the questions turn to drop-dead dates for different cultivars.  First off – don’t panic, it’s not May yet and everything is still in play.

Let’s get to the question you’re really wanting to ask – when should I stop planting Roy J because it’s too late?  It all depends (just like everything in farming).

It’s all about the weather at harvest time.  Will there be favorable conditions to get it dried down or not?  Right now I can’t figure out next week’s weather much less September’s.  The first week of May is still plenty early enough to plant Roy J with an expectation of good yields and it having the ability to mature out.  As we get into the middle of May, the house odds go up and ours go down.  In 2012 and 2013 Roy J planted to the middle of May did extremely well, but in 2014 Roy J planted around the same time didn’t do nearly as well.  I actually blame more of that on the strange in-season cool snaps rather than the end-of-season weather though.

Bottom line:  two weeks from today is a pretty good time to say “stop and switch”, especially the further north you go.  Options to switch to are already getting slim though, so I’d go ahead and look into what I can get.

Picture 2.  Poor coverage on treated seed – poor coverage leads to poor results on a good investment – check your seed.

2015-9 Picture 2 Mottled Seed Treatment


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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

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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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