Dr. Jarrod Hardke
April 15, 2016 No. 2016-05 www.uaex.edu/rice
Crop Outlook / Progress
Monday’s progress report showed that the state had soared from 11% planted on April 4 to 33% planted on April 11. With rainfall not as prevalent as predicted across the northeast this week, that number should balloon further in the next report on April 18. Enough NE growers are wrapping up corn and rice planting that they’ve already moved heavily into planting soybeans(!). But the southeast needs a boat to get in the field.
At the moment the rice in the ground really needs warm temperatures to see some crop progress. Rice planted from March 7 (not a typo) through March 25 was just emerging to a somewhat full stand a few days ago. Last week’s (4/4-4/10) great planting run generally has good germination and progress but needs help to get out of the ground. Rain and warmer temperatures this coming week should help get the crop out of the ground evenly.
If you’re not catching the rains next week, be aware of crusting conditions. Soils don’t always look that tough, but may be getting that way and preventing emergence. Be prepared to use the F word – FLUSH. See Picture 1.
The upside to planting rice on the early (and very early side) is that it leaves time for replants. We don’t want them, but they’re inevitable early in the season when the weather is inconsistent.
Pic. 1. Rice stand improved from a flush that arrived ‘better late than never’.
Unfortunately, it’s never too early to have a gameplan for replant decisions. Most rice replants aren’t going to occur until May after we’ve made an attempt at a good stand so let’s start there.
Rice planted into May generally has a yield potential 15% below optimum. So take 15% of your yield off the type, and then start over with seed, levees, and herbicide applications. All the profit goes out the window pretty fast that way.
At that point, if you have an average plant stand of 5 plants per ft2 for varieties or 3 plants per ft2 for hybrids – you’ve got a stand of rice. Don’t throw good money after bad.
Guess what happens with rice varieties with a stand of 5 plants per ft2 versus 15 per ft2? You get a 15-20% yield reduction. So if you’ve got that kind of stand, keep it and press on! You’ve already got most of your inputs there, bump the preflood N rate by 20 lbs N/acre.
Figure 1 shows 2015 seeding rate trial results. Average stands of 5-6 plants/ft2 were about 20% below optimum. About 15 plants/ft2 was where we needed to be on average to achieve near-optimum yields.
Fig. 1. 2015 Variety x Seeding Rate Trials.
Speaking of replants – sometimes the decision is easy. Blackbirds have a way of simplifying things. Picture 2 shows a field in Lawrence Co. that looks tilled up – until you realize that it’s been decimated by blackbirds. Check the replant box on that one.
Pic. 2. ‘Blackbird tillage’ in a newly planted rice field.
Pic. 3. Rice plants pulled up by blackbirds during/after a flush.
DD50 Program is Up and Running!
The DD50 program is back and better than ever and can be found at http://DD50.uaex.edu. Major changes have been made to make the overall process simpler and easier to use. Changes to midseason N recommendations have also been incorporated. As always, all feedback is welcome so we can continue to improve the program for you. It also now works great in the browser window of your mobile device!
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This information will also be posted to the Arkansas Row Crops blog (http://www.arkansas-crops.com/) where additional information from Extension specialists can be found.
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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.