Addressing Challenges In 2013

Amy Beth Dowdy
ABD Crop Consultants, LLC
Dexter, Mo.


When I was in college, I worked with Terra as a field scout from 1990-92. After that internship, I joined the company full-time as a consultant from 1992-96 and, in 1996, I started my own consulting business – ABD Crop Consultants, LLC. Today, I check rice in the Missouri Bootheel.

In the 22 years that I have consulted, 2012 was definitely the earliest I have seen. This year is starting out to be more of a "normal" year for planting although it seems late because last year was so early. About one-third of my acres were planted in the first half of April, and the remainder will be planted in May so there will be a gap in the crop. With the later-planted rice, not only does the rice come up faster, but the weeds do, too. We may have to spray earlier than normal to take care of the grass that comes up with the rice and put down some residual herbicides.

As of May 2, some of my farmers were considering water-seeding their rice instead of drill planting. In a water-seeded situation, they need to first put in a lot of PTO ditches in order to take the water on and off quickly without disturbing the seed. The ditches run at an angle. Not only will these ditches help now while a stand is being established, but in the fall when they pull the water off, the field will drain a lot faster. Another consideration for water-seeded rice is to be on the lookout for tadpole shrimp. In a few days time, they can mess up a stand of water-seeded rice.

In my area, we typically don't have too many problems with disease. I have very few fields with blast. As far as sheath blight, we now are realizing that with the varieties we plant, we need to reduce our seeding rates. When I started consulting 23 years ago, we planted 90- 110 pounds per acre. Now, we plant 60-70 pounds per acre of the conventional varieties and 20-25 pounds per acre of the hybrids. This has helped tremendously with disease control and lodging.

In a normal, drill-seeded situation, my herbicide program often includes a tankmix of Rice Beaux, Facet and Aim or Rice Beaux, Facet and Permit because we put Command out early behind the planter. I use RebelEX herbicide quite a bit where we have sprangletop and grass issues. I also like it because it is easy to handle. RebelEX fits well in a water-seeded situation, and Grasp and Grasp Xtra are going to be really important in getting aquatics under control this year. I also encourage my farmers who are doing their own spraying with ground rigs to use plenty of water to get good coverage and allow the herbicides to do their job.

On a positive note, I have faith that my growers will get this crop in, and it will work out all right. It may seem like they are behind the eight ball right now, but they can and will overcome these obstacles. They have in the past, and they will again.

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Robb Dedman

• B.S. in Agronomy – Mississippi State University, 1992
• Consults only on rice in the Missouri Bootheel
• Member of the NAICC Executive Board since 2011
• 2010 NAICC Consultant of the Year
• Member of the Stoddard County Fair Board. Serves on
the Livestock Committee.
• Mom, Pam, and brother, Matt, operate the family farm
in Dexter, Mo.
• Enjoys reading, going to auctions and visiting the beach
in the winter for some relaxing downtime.

Recap: Addressing Challenges In 2013

1. With the later-planted rice, not only does the rice come up faster, but the weeds do, too. We may have to spray earlier than normal to take care of the grass that comes up with the rice and put down some residual herbicides.

2. If a grower intends to water-seed rice, he needs to first put in a lot of PTO ditches in order to take the water on and off quickly without disturbing the seed.

3. Another consideration for water-seeded rice is to be on the lookout for tadpole shrimp.

4. As far as sheath blight, we now are realizing that with the varieties we plant, we need to reduce our seeding rates. We plant 60-70 pounds per acre of the conventional varieties and 20-25 pounds per acre of the hybrids. This has helped tremendously with disease control and lodging.

5. I use RebelEX herbicide quite a bit where we have sprangletop and grass issues, and it's easy to handle. RebelEX fits well in a water-seeded situation, and Grasp and Grasp Xtra are going to be really important in getting aquatics under control this year.

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