Find It Here
Twitter update

Subscribe to Post Updates from Arkansas Row Crops


RSS AgNews
Quick Links
Agricultural Programs
Arkansas Rice Update 8-10-18
Author: Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist

Rice LogoArkansas Rice Update

Dr. Jarrod Hardke

August 10, 2018  No. 2018-24      

Crop Progress

“Let the big dog eat.”  A few combines have hit the field this week and reported good rice so far.  As usual, we didn’t get much rain all summer and now it keeps popping up.  The second half of next week looks like a downer as well.

With the scattered rain moving across this week, more rice should’ve been harvested.  The first reports came out of Lonoke and Jefferson Counties in central AR.  With any favorable windows, harvest should get going in the southeast area any time now.

Yield potential seems to be there, but with the grass escapes it’s going to be very important to get this rice crop out timely.  The longer we let it stand there, the greater the chances of rain and wind starting to put it down.

Positive yield reports from south Louisiana continue this week and are very strong.  I’ve mentioned before that Louisiana yields can be a good barometer for Arkansas yields.  Fig. 1 shows the state average yields over the past 15 years and the yield trends follow each other very closely.

Fig. 1.  2003-2017 Yield trends (bu/A) for Arkansas and Louisiana.


Fig. 2.  First(?) rice harvested in Arkansas earlier this week.


Voluntary Smoke Management Guidelines

Before you burn ANY crop field, including rice, call 1-800-830-8015.  Visit for more information.


Harvest Aids in Rice

Much of this rice crop is going to be ready at the same time, making timely harvest a chore.  With that, it may be very useful to salt fields to get started where we can.

Make sodium chlorate applications only after average grain moisture is below 25% and stop applications once average grain moisture falls below 18%.  Harvest preferably within 4 days, but no more than 7 days after application.  The recommended rate is 3 to 6 lb a.i. / acre.  Avoid applying ahead of rainy weather that can prevent timely harvest (see current forecast).

If you apply sodium chlorate too early (above 25% moisture) you can expect grain yield losses.  If you apply it too late (below 18% moisture) you can expect milling yield losses.  Always keep in mind the variability of the field.

If the average moisture of your sample area is below 25% but you know there are “greener” areas in the field, it will be best to wait until those areas are drier before application.  If the average sample area is above 18% but you know there are drier areas in the field, it may be best to avoid the application altogether.

Sodium chlorate is a harvest aid – as in a tool, like a hammer.  Use it right and hit the nail, not your thumb.


Ratooning Rice in Arkansas

Ideally if we want to attempt a ratoon crop in Arkansas we want to harvest by August 15th.  Apply no more than 100 lbs urea/acre immediately after harvest and re-establish a shallow flood.  Applying more urea generally doesn’t provide us with any benefit, it just slows the rice down to the point we may not outrun a frost.

The taller you’re able to leave the stubble, the more likely you are to successfully make any kind of a ratoon crop.  An 8-inch stubble height or greater is best, but the higher the stubble height, the lower the ratoon yield potential.  DO NOT roll, mow, etc. the stubble or you will be unlikely to make a ratoon crop because it will take too long to develop.

I would also lean toward an already early maturing hybrid to attempt this such as RT CLXL745 or RT XP753.  They’ll be the first things cut this year anyway.  Given current conditions and an early, but not super early, harvest window, it may be worth a shot for those in south Arkansas on their earliest fields.  For those to the north, not likely.


Fig. 3.  Red rice already taking down heading rice in the flood.


Fig. 4.  Brown spot showing up on flag leaves of maturing rice.

New DD50 Program is Live!

Check out for the overhauled DD50 Rice Management Program.  We have tried to make this version extremely user friendly, but in doing so it is a little different than the old version.  If you run into any issue, please call or text me directly at 501-772-1714 or send emails to  It also works great on mobile phones and tablets.



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.

Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page