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Arkansas Rice Update 7-1-17
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

Rice LogoArkansas Rice Update

Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Dr. Bob Scott, & Scott Stiles

July 1, 2017  No. 2017-15      

Crop Progress

“Run, Forrest, Run!”  The majority of the crop has hit the midseason timing in stride. A lot of the rice is not very tall, which is slightly concerning, but it’s just another variable in the game.  It doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

Rice in the southern half of the state is, as usual, progressing faster than the rice in the northern half of the state.  This usually plays a role in it looking better and that’s true again.  Still a lot of time to tell that story though.

Going back to last week’s discussion of the weather, it was 2015 when so many noted rice plants seeming somewhat shorter. This could mean the production continues to get shorter. Short on acres and short in yield, we could see very low stocks for the coming marketing year. A price response would be reasonable to expect, but world stocks would suggest otherwise.


Crop Acreage Report

The USDA-NASS acreage report was released 6/30 and projected harvested acres came in at 1.11 million acres for Arkansas.  Of that, 970,000 was long grain and 140,000 was medium grain.  That represents a 27% decline in rice acres compared to 2016.  Other states saw declines as well and the acreage report details are outlined in the Rice Market Update.

As reported earlier I was expecting 1.05 million acres total for the state with about 900,000 long grain and 140,000 medium grain.  So I agree with the report on one part but feel the final certified acres will come in considerably lower than the 970,000 long grain acres projected.  Only time will tell, but it does seem like we have fewer acres than reported and the yields will be lower than the average most are currently using to calculate our post-harvest stocks.  Unless we get 2013-2014 type weather that doesn’t seem likely.

Fig. 1.  PREP plots in White Co. (courtesy of Brett Gordon).


There’s a Fungus Among Us

Disease calls haven’t been extremely heavy yet, but the weather has been erratic so it’s not too surprising.  The lower daytime highs and overnight lows combined with reduced humidity are less conducive to disease development.  Having said that, things can turn on us in an instant.  So let’s review a few items.

Hopefully there’s nothing much to say about blast this year.  But you never can trust that disease.  You can have leaf blast and not get neck blast, or you can have no leaf blast and get neck blast, or vice versa.  If you can’t trust a fungus who can you trust?

So we’re going to spray all susceptible cultivars at least once for blast management.  At least once.  The only surefire way to get optimum blast suppression still remains a 2-shot approach, but I understand the need for many to play the risk/reward game.

It’s been a tough year and many budgets are thin or already busted.  So here’s what you need to focus on – fields difficult to irrigate or with poor water-holding capacity, have tree lines or anything that creates prolonged dew periods – you will spray a fungicide for blast prevention, preferably twice.

There’s no going back and stopping blast.  We spray without knowing if, when, or what severity will show up.  Unfortunately that is our only way to manage it.  A number of growers this year have more acres planted to varieties that are blast susceptible this year because they couldn’t get all the hybrid seed they wanted.  Don’t slip up and mistime the fungicide applications (or forget altogether).

Two-shot approach:  12.5 oz Quadris at late boot to 10% heading followed by 10 oz Quadris at 50-75% head emergence from boot.

One-shot approach: 12.5 oz Quadris at 30-50% head emergence from boot.


See fungicide equivalency tables for using pre-mix products at the early fungicide timing. Remember if you’re using a product with Tilt for smut control that application MUST GO OUT BEFORE BOOT SPLIT. If after you have wasted your money.  You CAN time the first fungicide application to give you smut prevention and your first round of blast prevention.


Dicamba on Rice

In general we know that dicamba drift will not typically injure rice.  However, there are now allowable tank mixes with Engenia that includes the product glyphosate (Roundup).  Obviously drift of glyphosate to rice can cause injury including malformation of seed heads if the drift occurs after panicle initiation (PI).

Applicators need to be aware that although there is no buffer requirement for dicamba applications near rice, other things in the tank mix may damage rice.  Due to possible volatilization and movement of dicamba it might be possible for drift of dicamba and glyphosate to go across a rice field and hit a soybean field without injury symptoms showing up on rice.

This also has to do with the fact that soybean will respond to lower doses of dicamba than rice likely will to glyphosate.  Although you can sometimes split the stem open and find damage, often the only way to know for sure if a field has glyphosate damage from drift after PI growth stage is often when seed heads emerge.


Time for Rice Stink Bugs?

Rice fields in the state are just reaching heading.  With that, rice stink bug season should be upon us.  Maybe things will be light this year and they won’t hassle us much, but every other insect hasn’t been that kind, so we should expect them to be.

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.


Table 1.  Percent of Acres at 50% Heading by Week Based on DD50 Enrollment.


Rice Market Update

The USDA released the annual Acreage report today which contains estimates of U.S. planted and harvested acreage.  This week’s market commentary includes a summary of these estimates and the general implications for price direction.

The June USDA surveys revealed that U.S. rice producers planted 1.884 million acres of long-grain rice this year; 558,000 fewer acres than were planted last year.  However, planted acreage came in just 25,000 acres less than intentions reported in USDA’s March Prospective Plantings.

As expected, Arkansas and Missouri fell short of March intentions by a combined 50,000 acres.  Acreage matched intentions in Mississippi and California while Louisiana and Texas acreage exceeded March 31 estimates — offsetting half of the acreage losses seen in Missouri and Arkansas.

Many in the industry were anticipating a greater reduction in acreage, which could explain why September rice futures closed 9 cents lower Friday at $11.81 ½.  One detail worth exploring in the Acreage report is this year’s difference between planted and harvested acres.  The difference between these two values is commonly referred to as “abandonment”.  The following graph provides a look at long-grain abandonment over the past five crop years, plus the USDA’s current 2017 projection.

U.S. Long-Grain Rice Abandonment (thousand acres)


From 2012 to 2016, long-grain abandonment averaged 23,000 acres or 1.1% of planted acreage.  This year’s difference between planted and harvested acreage of 64,000 acres or 3.4% is much larger than normal, reflecting acreage lost to flooding.  At present, USDA is projecting 2017 long-grain harvested acreage to be 1.82 million.  What implication does that have for 2017/18 supply/demand balance sheet?

Using a projected yield of 166.7 bushels (7,500 lbs/ac) from the February USDA Ag Outlook Forum, the harvested acreage forecast implies a 2017 crop near 137 million hundredweight (mcwt.) — which would be about 30 million smaller than the 2016 crop.

New crop ending stocks will no doubt deviate depending on changes to beginning stocks, demand, harvested acreage and the actual U.S. average yield.  One key variable to watch in the months ahead will be 2017/18 beginning stocks.  This number may increase as result of downward adjustments to 2016/17 exports.

However, it appears today the 2017 crop will lead to a substantial decrease in long-grain stocks by the end of the 2017/18 marketing year.  Holding all the above variables constant, a crop of 137 mcwt. points to 2017/18 ending stocks of about 13.7 mcwt.; the lowest since 2003/04.

The June 30 acreage estimates provide a supportive price outlook and increase the odds that the average long-grain farm price could be above the $4.95/bu. USDA is currently projecting for the 2017/18 marketing year.  Adjustments to the upcoming July 12 USDA supply/demand report will now become the primary market focus.

Coming Up:

In observance of Independence Day, CBOT grain futures will close at 12:05 p.m. Monday, July 3rd.  Markets will resume trading at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 5th.

Also, next week’s USDA Crop Progress report will be released on Wednesday July 5thExport Sales will be released on Friday, July 7th.

July 12th — USDA Supply/Demand.  11:00 a.m.      *all times Central.


Arkansas Rice College is August 3rd

The 2017 Rice College will be held at the Rice Research & Extension Center at Stuttgart, AR on Thursday, Aug. 3.  Register now at this link:


Enroll Fields in the DD50 Program to Help Time Management Decisions

The DD50 program can be found at  Please let us know if you have any questions or encounter any problems.

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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