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Foliar-Applied Nutritional

Healthier plants result in higher yield potential, milling quality

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Healthier rice plants cope much better with stresses such as diseases and inclement weather, resulting in higher yield potential and milling quality. And more rice producers are improving their plant health with HeadSet, a foliar-applied nutritional that increases chlorophyll production for higher plant metabolism and photosynthesis.

For example, Arkansas grower David Pigue found that his HeadSet-treated rice was his best milling quality rice in 2012. “I applied one pint of HeadSet per acre with Quilt XL at the boot stage,” says Pigue of Paragould. “I treated a 200-acre field of Clearfield CL729 like a test so when we thrashed it, we hauled it by itself and kept it in a separate bin.

“The rice off the HeadSet-treated field milled two to three points higher than any of my other fields,” he says. “The increase put me at the maximum premium for that field on milling yield. In addition to improving the milling quality, I definitely feel it also helped increase yield.”

Wide Application Window

This product’s wide application window offers timing flexibility. One pint per acre can be applied anytime from panicle initiation to early heading in conventional and hybrid rice. HeadSet, sold exclusively by Helena Chemical Company, can be tankmixed with other materials, including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and foliar fertilizer.

Producers Chester and Mitchell Faulk, Faulk Brothers Farm, Crowley, La., applied HeadSet at heading, tankmixed with Quilt and Quadris. They applied one pint of HeadSet per acre on CL111 and on all of their hybrid rice.

“Better milling was our biggest benefit from using HeadSet,” Chester says. “The milling on the first 10,000 barrels of HeadSettreated rice averaged 101/115 barrels (62/70 hundredweight). We tried HeadSet on half of our rice acreage in 2012. We plan on using it on all our rice in 2013.”

Benji Guillot, Guillot Farms, Crowley, La., aerially applied HeadSet with Quadris on Clearfield CL151, CL111 and CL161 immediately prior to heading. “Last year, the mills told us we had the best milling CL151,” he says. “The mills gave us the same premium price for CL151 that they gave us for CL111, which normally gets a premium price.

“The treated rice seemed healthier, which helps plants fight off stresses such as diseases,” Guillot adds. “Additionally, all our yields were up last year. CL151 averaged 47.83 barrels per acre, CL111 averaged 50.9 barrels and Milagra Phillipino averaged 50.2 barrels. We were ecstatic with our yields.”

Fred Zaunbrecher of Rayne, La., is a twoyear user of HeadSet. He grows 2,000 acres of rice along with his three brothers Phillip, Paul and Bill. “We were very pleased with HeadSet our first year so we tried it again in 2012,” he says. “In 2011, we saw a significant drop in milling yields from the untreated fields, so last year we aerially applied HeadSet with a fungicide on every acre of rice we planted.

“The bottom line for us is the milling quality; that’s how we get paid,” Zaunbrecher explains. “The lower the quality, the lower the price. Along with producing the best quality rice, we also try to maximize the quantity produced. HeadSet helps us do that.

“It has a component that stimulates the plant at heading, which often is when we have nutrient deficiencies in the field. It helps rice get through that stressful period and makes the second crop much stronger, too.”

Offsetting Stress

Healthier plants carry on more photosynthesis, utilizing nitrogen better and resulting in higher yield potential and milling quality. And, healthier plants fight off diseases better and overcome stress issues that can be detrimental to rice.

Positive yield results have been seen from independent research in all rice-producing states. Years of replicated trials show an average yield increase of five to 10 bushels per acre on HeadSet-treated rice compared to untreated plots.

Helena Chemical Company provided information for this article.

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