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Arkansas Rice Update 7-17-15
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

July 17, 2015                              No. 2015-21

Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Dr. Gus Lorenz, Scott Stiles, & Dr. Yeshi Wamishe

Crop Progress

Dry and scalding hot.  Water use will be at a fever pitch in the coming week.  Next week is expected to bring temperatures in the upper 90s with some 100 degree days next weekend.

Last week’s comments about nighttime temperatures held true.  Depending on exact location in the state, areas have experienced 5-7 consecutive nights where temperatures were 75 or above.  Where rice is heading this could have serious negative effects on grain quality.

In 2010 and 2011 when grain quality complaints were high, we experienced prolonged periods of elevated overnight temperatures.  In 2010 from July 18-Aug 16 we had only one night with a low temp below 75 degrees.  In 2011 from July 7-Aug 8 we never dropped below 75 for an overnight low.

While we have yet to face that stretch this year, the extended forecast points to a 10-day run of 75+ overnight temps before falling back into the low 70s.  We can only hope that the timing isn’t just right to hurt us.

According to DD50 enrollment, the crop should be approaching 44% heading which should be in line with NASS estimates on Monday (Table 1).  Also included for reference are the projected dates for harvest – the time at which we will reach 20% grain moisture, which hasn’t changed over the past week (Table 2).

2015-21 Table 1 50 Heading

2015-21 Table 2 Harvest


Rice Stink Bug Update

The first heading fields in particular areas are still reaching treatment level for rice stink bug.  However, as surrounding fields head out numbers seem to be spreading out.  One interesting thing to watch for is the amount of rice stink bug seen in grain sorghum.  With a major increase in grain sorghum acres this year, the crop may provide a breeding ground for stink bugs to build up and move out into rice – particularly later planted rice that is always at greater risk.  Continue to scout and stay on top the situation as stink bugs are strong fliers and adults can move into fields quickly.


Recommended Timing for Rice Fungicide Applications in Arkansas

Hot and dry weather conditions with highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s may slow threats from sheath blight and blast.  However, these diseases may still progress to some extent under the warm nighttime temperatures in heavy dew fields.  Fields in low lying regions surrounded by trees and at river bottoms tend to have longer dew periods that can favor blast when dew stays for longer than 9 hours.  Sheath blight can progress slowly by warm nights with dew in fields over-fertilized with nitrogen and with thick canopies.  Therefore, the hot and dry weather does not fully cancel the “alert” to scout for both sheath blight and blast.

Sheath Blight:  Continue scouting from green ring until pre-heading and make sure at least the upper three (3) leaves including the flag leaf are clean from the disease at heading.  A single fungicide application from early- to mid-boot is recommended to suppress sheath blight development unless it previously became severe enough to reach threshold levels.  To read more on sheath blight fungicides go to:  http://www.arkansas‑

Blast:  If the current hot and dry weather conditions hold, leaf blast will be suppressed and disease pressure at heading should be low to moderate.  But this does not mean we should not plan for at least one fungicide application to suppress neck rot and panicle blast.  The disease may still progress in isolated conditions as mentioned above on warm and dewy nights in certain fields.  Therefore, continue scouting and maintain a 4+ inch flood depth.

Timing for Protective Fungicide Application for Blast:  Two applications are usually recommended to prevent damage from neck blast.  If the current hot and dry weather holds, one application may be good enough.  However, this is a judgment call, the best and safest approach is two fungicide applications.  History of the field, cultivar susceptibility, soil type, flood depth, conditions that favor dew, and your overall field management need to be considered before deciding on the use of a single application instead of two.

The optimum timing for a one-time application is at 30-50% heading.  Higher rates are usually preferred (i.e. 12 oz. Quadris, 21 oz. Quilt Xcel, 19 oz. Stratego).  If you wait on the fungicide application so you can tank-mix with an insecticide, the application will be too late for neck blast.  Side note:  if you spray a fungicide on time and throw in an insecticide prior to heading, you’ll waste the insecticide.

For two applications, late boot to 10% heading (Fig. 1) and 50-75% heading (Fig. 2) are recommended.  The whole point here is to protect the delicate neck tissues as they come out of the boot from the blast spores that may be lurking at the collar of the flag leaf.  The 1st application is to protect the primary tillers, and the 2nd application is mainly for younger tillers.  However, if a large proportion of the necks are out of the boot (Fig. 3), forget about fungicides because it’s too late.  Failure to detect leaf blast early on does not guarantee the absence of neck blast.  The blast fungus is wind borne and can be blown from anywhere.

Fig. 1.  Boot to 10% head out: recommended timing for 1st blast application.

2015-21 Fig 1 Boot to 10 heading

Fig. 2.  50-75% head out: recommended timing for 2nd blast application.  Note that necks are still in boot.

2015-21 Fig 2 50-75 Heading

Fig. 3.  Panicle necks completely out of boot.  Wrong time to apply for blast, fungicides will not help.

2015-21 Fig 3 Neck out of Boot


Kernel Smut and False Smut:  Situations to consider a fungicide application for smut prevention include: 1) susceptible cultivar, 2) field history of smut, and 3) excessive nitrogen rates applied.  If a field meets an two of these three criteria, then plan for protective fungicide and apply at the right time and rate.

Timing for Protective Fungicides for Kernel Smut and False Smut Suppression:  Early- to mid-boot (Fig. 4) application is recommended as the best timing – if heads are emerging (Fig. 5) it is too late.  Use a minimum of 6 oz. per acre of Tilt (propiconazole) or equivalent if possible.  High rates are recommended such as 19 oz. Stratego, 21 oz. Quilt Xcel, or 21 oz. Quilt.  Four (4) oz. is not as effective particularly to suppress false smut.  Use as much water as possible for good coverage, no less than 5 gallons per acre.  If done properly with correct timing and rate, kernel smut can be suppressed 90-95% but false smut only 50-75%.

If coordinated application to target multiple diseases is desired (for sheath blight, 1st application for blast, kernel smut, and false smut), an application at mid-boot but before boot-split may work.  However, it all depends on which disease is actually the worst in your field.  It’s a judgment call and knowing the history of the field helps to make this decision.  Note that late-planted, susceptible rice fields are more prone to diseases than early-planted fields.

Fig. 4.  Early- to mid-boot: recommended timing for kernel smut and false smut fungicide application.

2015-21 Fig 4 Early to mid boot

Fig. 5.  Boot split to any percentage head out is too late for a fungicide application for smut suppression.

2015-21 Fig 5 Boot Split


Fungicides for Rice Disease Management and Active Ingredients Contained in Selected Fungicides


Weekly Market Summary

As mentioned last week, it appeared rice futures were setting up for a technical correction or “breather” from the extended run-up that started in mid-May.  The September contract finished today 4 cents lower at $10.92 and 16.5 cents lower on the market week.  Market moving news has been limited this week with the other Chicago grains clearly focused on weather forecasts – which are indicating a break from the below normal temperatures and above normal rainfall in the eastern Corn Belt.  Traders are now watching a shift to above normal temperatures and how long these conditions might last.  Overall, U.S. rice condition ratings improved slightly in Monday’s NASS Crop Progress report.  With no news this week of big export sales, the path of least resistance in futures was lower.

CBOT Rough Rice Futures Settlements

2015-21 Rough Rice Futures

CBOT Sept. 2015 Rough Rice Daily Futures

2015-21 Rough Rice Daily Futures

USDA Reports

Monday: Crop Progress

For the week ending July 12, U.S. rice condition ratings improved to 71% good-to-excellent, compared to 70% last week and last year.  Crop conditions improved significantly week-to-week in Louisiana.  Arkansas’ condition rating held steady at 69% good-to-excellent.

2015-21 Crop Condition


Thursday: Export Sales

Old crop (2014) shipments of long-grain rough rice dipped to a 10-week low last week, coming in at 145,770 hundredweight (cwt).  El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico were the top three destinations.  Net sales on the other hand were very strong at 1.7 million cwt.  Large sales were noted to Mexico and Venezuela.  There were no new crop sales of long-grain rough rice reported.

Long-grain milled rice shipments were lower for the third consecutive week at an estimated 169,459 cwt.  Canada and Saudi Arabia were the top destinations last week.  Net Sales were up slightly last week, with the largest buyers being Canada, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.  One new crop sales of 360 metric tons (MT) was made last week to Mexico.  Total Commitment (sales + shipments) for the 2015/16 marketing year is now running slightly ahead of last year’s pace at this time with sales of 2,159 MT compared to 850 MT last year.



Crude oil and diesel futures continue to drift lower this week.  Included below is a daily chart of NYMEX diesel futures over the past year.  Note that the $1.58-1.60 area represents the lowest trades seen this year.  As diesel futures continue to drift closer to $1.60 this will be a critical price level to watch and see if prices bounce higher at $1.60 or trade through this key layer of support.  Watch this closely for fuel buying opportunities.

The nuclear agreement with Iran this week has been considered a key reason why crude oil has traded down to the $50 area.  The U.S. Dollar has been on a higher trend this week as well.  Part of the agreement with Iran includes the easing of economic sanctions and the ability to export oil.  The question now becomes how much crude will hit the world market and when.  The Iranian crude is not projected to have a significant impact on the open market for many months.  In the very near term (before year-end) it’s believed they could add 200,000 barrels per day to global supplies.  Iran is expected to have a more significant impact on global supplies by mid-2016 when they could add in the range of 500 to 800,000 barrels per day to the world market.

NYMEX Diesel, Daily Nearby Futures

2015-21 Diesel Futures


Energies Futures Prices


Upcoming USDA Reports:

August 12 (11:00 a.m. central):

  • Crop Production
  • Supply/Demand (WASDE)


NASS Crop Progress is released each Monday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. central.

USDA-NASS reports

FAS Export Sales are released each Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. central.

USDA-FAS Export Sales

USDA-FSA information on projected 2014 PLC payment rates is available at this link:

ARC/PLC Program Data



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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