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Arkansas Rice Update 5-1-2015
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

May 1, 2015                               No. 2015-10

Dr. Jarrod Hardke

Planting Progress

We’re off and running now.  This week should mark the largest jump in planted acreage of the year.  Weather this week and into next week should be perfect for making progress.  In fact, some have made so much progress that they’re already looking forward to a rain – things sure do change fast.  It’s probably a good thing we can’t control the weather, we’d never all agree on what to do with it anyway.

More overall planting progress info in Figure 1.  We jumped to 37% as of Monday, which is about as slow as any of the previous years shown.  With the progress this week and next we’ll jump right back into the mix though.

Figure 1.  Rice planting progress, 2007-2015.

2015-10 Fig. 1 Planting Progress-1

The extended forecast shows 80 degree days and 60 degree nights into next Friday.  Then there are significant rain chances Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

For those getting planted and sprayed at the moment, a flush may be necessary to achieve uniform germination and herbicide activation.  The seed and chemical don’t need to sit there from now until next Friday with no moisture.  No one likes to flush, but it’s worth the time and expense.  It’s time to get this crop moving.


Blackbirds Still Showing Up

Stand losses from blackbird damage continue to be reported (Picture 1).  So far most of these reports are to very small and isolated areas of fields.  Birds are capable of following a drill row and digging up seeds.  They will also pull up spiking to one-leaf seedlings.  Generally after that plants are established enough to prevent being pulled up.  There is nothing that can be done to stop them once the seed is in the ground.

If you’ll be planting a field that will be isolate from other planted fields by time (planted earlier or later) or be isolated in its location, you might think about using AV-1011 seed treatment if you have known bird problems in the area.

Picture 1.  Classic injury from blackbirds.  Will pull up seeds and seedlings.

2015-10 Picture 1 Blackbird Damage


Cool, Wet Conditions Always Cause Problems Early

Plenty of calls about injury to rice that’s up to a stand.  In plenty of situations, Command is working exceptionally well for weed control, but it’s also working the rice over (Picture 2).  Current conditions will spring the rice out of that sickly appearance without much help from us.

Other calls are probably less to do with herbicide and more to do with seedling disease.  Fungicide seed treatments are typically good for about 2 weeks, after that you’re on your own.  Some of the rice that’s been planted for 3-4 weeks hasn’t had much protection from the seedling disease complex through these cool wet conditions that favor disease.  Some plant death has been observed, but it has typically been very mild.  Things could’ve been much worse without the use of seed treatments.

Picture 2.  Cool, wet conditions & high herbicide rates can cause severe plant injury.

2015-10 Picture 2 Command Injury


2015 Rice Pocket Guide Now Available

Starting next week county offices will be able to order to copies of this new ‘pocket-size’ publication.  Please see your local county Extension office about picking up a copy.  If you’d like to download a PDF of the guide, please visit the following link:


DD50 image

The DD50 program can be accessed at  It has now been improved for use on both your computer and your mobile devices.


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 blog ( where additional information from Extension specialists can be found.

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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