Dr. Jarrod Hardke & Dr. Gus Lorenz
June 30, 2016 No. 2016-16 www.uaex.edu/rice
Heading has begun on a limited basis and we’ll be picking up speed over the next couple of weeks. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. But every now and then – that means the train is coming through. The current heat, if it continues, could be a serious problem with this year’s rice crop (Fig. 1).
Rice fields are starting to head and by next week we’ll be at 25% of fields headed and 70% the week after that. Current daytime highs over 95 degrees have the potential to increase blanking (inhibit successful pollination of kernels). With blanking we’re talking yield loss.
As pollination occurs and is successful the plant begins to fill those kernels. At this point nighttime temperatures become a concern. Four or more consecutive nights where the low temperature is 75 or above and we will likely see negative effects on grain quality – chalky kernels.
Yes, I’m talking a one-two punch that you can do absolutely nothing about. All we can do is hope for the best and that most of this excessive heat will play out quickly. If it continues, I’m afraid quality issues may arise similar to 2010-2011. No, I didn’t want to write that but it’s a legitimate concern.
To minimize blank kernels from other activities you can control: avoid pesticide (fungicide) or fertilizer applications from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. when flowering is likely occurring. With irrigation, keep field moisture levels high to reduce plant stress during periods of high heat. Beyond that, just hold onto your hat, this might be a bumpy ride.
If the overnight temperatures are short-lived and don’t extend much past the current forecast then we should be fine. Of equal concern should be the difficulty we may soon have keeping up with irrigation without some timely rainfall.
Fig. 1. Daily Temperature Forecast for Stuttgart (L) and Jonesboro (R) for the next 10 days.
USDA-NASS Acreage Report
We received our first official acreage estimate since the Prospective Plantings report was released in March. Now we get a better picture of where we stand for the year, but still far from the whole picture.
In March my projection was 1.4 million acres of long grain and 200,000 acres of medium grain (1.6 million acres total). This turned out to be only slightly higher than the Prospective Plantings report of 1.581 million acres. Since then my projection shifted to 1.65 million total acres but 1.5 million long grain versus 150,000 medium grain.
Today’s USDA-NASS Acreage report holds steady with the Projection from March at 1.581 million total rice acres planted in Arkansas in 2016. Of that, 1.43 million acres are planted to long grain and 150,000 to medium grain.
For the U.S. as a whole, total acreage is up almost 23% over 2015. See Table 1 for a breakdown of 2016 acreage estimates compared to 2014-2015. As always, acreage numbers will fluctuate well into the fall and the FSA acreage report begins to shed even more light starting in August – but the final report isn’t released until January.
Table 1. Arkansas Row Crop Acreage Planted by Commodity.
Early Rice and Stink Bugs
The biggest advantage to early rice is you get to harvest it early. The biggest disadvantage is you’re the only game in town for rice stink bugs (and blackbirds). If you have rice beginning to head now, and it’s starting to pick up, get out there and scout for stink bugs. There’s a good chance you’re loaded up. Fields evaluated in the past week were running 3-4 times threshold levels required for treatment.
As a reminder, the treatment thresholds for rice stink bug are:
- First 2 weeks after heading: 5 RSB per 10 sweeps.
- Second 2 weeks after heading: 10 RSB per 10 sweeps.
Do not treat for stink bug levels lower than these thresholds. You will eliminate beneficial insects and increase the likelihood that you will need to treat again.
Fig. 1. Newpath/Beyond tank contamination on conventional rice. The larger plant is a Clearfield off-type in the drill row – otherwise known as a ‘tattletale’.
The DD50 program can be found at http://DD50.uaex.edu. Enroll fields now to help with timing most major rice management practices.
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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.