Following is a sampling of critical water management situations,
the stage of the rice and recommended practices or precautions
to help alleviate the particular situation. This information
is part of the Arkansas Rice Production Handbook, published
by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
1. After dry-seeding, no moisture for germination. The rice
has not germinated. Flush as quickly as possible, being sure surface
water does not stand for more than two days. Use multiple water
inlets, if possible, to reduce flush time.
2. Soil surface is crusted. The rice has germinated but not emerged.
Flush to soften crust before spikes braid or lose their penetrating
3. Residual herbicides have been applied, soil surface has
become dry, weeds are germinating. The rice has germinated and
may be emerged. Flush to activate herbicides.
4. Barnyardgrass has become drought-stressed and is less than
four-leaf. The rice may or may not be emerged. Flush and apply
herbicide before the grass gets too tall.
5. Seedling rice has tipburn and is dying before flooding (salinity
injury). The rice has emerged but may be less than eight inches
tall. Have the water tested for quality. Dilute the salts by flushing
and don’t let the soil surface dry.
6. Rice has turned chlorotic (yellow) within two to four days
after flooding (high pH, Zn deficiency). The rice is six to 10 inches
tall. Drain immediately and, after recovery, apply zinc, add N;
reflood to shallow depth.
7. History of straighthead. First, plant a tolerant variety. The
rice is about two to three weeks prior to internode movement (Consider
DD50 drying time frame). Drain before DD50 first drying date
to allow the soil to dry thoroughly until rice plants are droughtstressed;
then reflood, preferably before one-half inch internode
8. Not enough water; severe drought stress. Rice can be in various
stages. Flush over quickly, then close gates and raise flood to
desired depth as water becomes available.
9. Nitrogen applied on dry soil. The rice is three weeks old.
Flood immediately after application to move N down into the soil.
10. Nitrogen applied into flood. Rice is at internode elongation.
Prefer stable flood with little water movement. Delay pumping for 24
hours after N application.
11. Drought, pumping flow rate is low. Rice is near heading.
Use multiple inlets. Clean out algae in flow pattern to ensure sufficient
water as heads emerge.
12. Preparation for harvest. Rice is about 10 to 14 days after
heading. Heads are beginning to drop, and some heads are beginning
to ripen. Consider ceasing pumping on field in preparation for
harvest 10 to 14 days after heading if there is an adequate flood on the
field that would prevent drought stress during grain fill. However, if
temperatures are hot, then maintain the flood to 10 more days.
Please refer to the Arkansas Rice Production Handbook to view the
entire listing along with Keys to Water Management Success.