I started scouting cotton while still in high school as a part-time
employee with Tom Davis (Biology teacher) in 1980. After college, in 1990
I started my own consulting service checking only cotton. Today, we are a
full service consulting business checking all other crops grown in our area,
including corn and rice.
Because of the unusually warm weather in the spring of 2012, we were
blessed with early rice planting, which helped us produce above-average
yields. Other contributing factors included good fertility, weed management,
water management and a little luck with temperatures when your
crop is in the reproductive stage. For the 2012 crop, we applied Command
alone on all our Clearfield varieties and Command plus Facet, where possible,
on our conventional varieties. Other herbicides we used included
Newpath, Clearpath, Regiment, Grasp, Blazer and Clincher. Weeds are
becoming a big issue with our rice crop. It seems as if every year we are
having more and more grass or coffee bean break through our herbicide.
Herbicides such as Clincher or Blazer must be applied for a cleanup shot.
Make sure you don’t skimp on the volume of water for Clincher to work.
This makes all the difference in the world on the control you receive.
Weed pressure is definitely a concern I have with certain varieties we
are currently planting in our area. We know there is a greater chance of
weeds becoming a problem when you have a thin and uneven stand. This
is exactly what we are seeing due to low seeding rates. Lower seeding
rates can cause a dense canopy that allows weeds to become an issue.
Whereas, higher seeding rates allow rice to canopy over quicker and put
less pressure on our herbicides. You may think, just plant higher seeding
rates, right? Well we would love to, but the main reason we don’t is due to
COST. Cost is always a concern when you are trying to make a profit. I
don’t think we would have as much late season weed pressure if our
seeding rates were higher in certain varieties, but this is an expensive
option. With this in mind, we have to become creative with our cost/profit
ratios and something has to give, which, in this case, are the weeds.
If you are planning on planting rice in 2013, I would first recommend
planting rice on your most productive fields, while remembering that rice
is a good rotation for resistant pigweed management. Also, a smooth
planting surface is important for a good soil-to-seed contact, which in turn
gives you a better chance of a uniform emergence. Clearfield rice should
be planted where red rice is of concern. Lastly, it is usually a good idea to
stick with those varieties that you have had success with in the past.
As I am writing, 2013 is literally a week or two away, and I am enjoying
a little time with my family. My son is home from college, my other boys
out of school for the holidays, and this time we all spend together is special.
I hope you had a chance to spend a little time with the special people
in your life. Another rice crop is already being planned, and planting is just
around the corner. Good luck with your rice crops in 2013!
• B.S. in Plant Science – Arkansas State University
• Consults on rice, cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans and grain sorghum
• Past president and member of the Arkansas Agricultural Consultants Association
• 2007 Cotton Consultant of the Year
• Member of Marion United Methodist Church
• Married to wife Paula for 23 years
• Three children: Matt (19), Brandon (16) and Will (14)
• Enjoys spending time with family, turkey and deer hunting and watching college football
Recap: Plan Early For Weed Control
1. Factors that help produce above average yields include good
fertility, weed management, water management and a little luck
with temperatures when your crop is in the reproductive stage.
2. When using Clincher, don’t skimp on the volume of water. This
makes all the difference in the world on the control you receive.
3. There is a greater chance for weeds becoming a problem when
you have a thin or uneven stand.
4. Higher seeding rates allow rice to canopy over quicker and put
less pressure on our herbicide.
5. Plant rice on your most productive fields, while remembering
that rice is a good rotation for resistant pigweed management.
6. A smooth planting surface is important for good soil-to-seed
contact, which provides a better chance for uniform emergence.
7. Plant Clearfield rice where red rice is of concern.