Feature

After Louisiana’s warm winter, watch out for more insect pests

planthopper nymphs

• By Blake Wilson and Sebe Brown • Populations of pest insects are often influenced by factors at play well before crops are planted. Winter mortality is a key regulator of spring insect populations, particularly for pests introduced from tropical regions. The 2018-2019 winter was mild, especially in the southern half of the state, where temperatures didn’t dip below a ... Read More »

MSU hires new irrigation specialist

Mississippi State University has hired Drew Gholson as an assistant professor and the irrigation specialist with the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center and the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer Water Center. He began his new job April 1 and replaces Jason Krutz, who was promoted to lead the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute. Gholson earned his bachelor’s in rangeland ... Read More »

MSU study: Rice water weevil densities vary within a row-rice field

MSU grad student Read Kelly

• By Jeff Gore and Dan Roach • Read Kelly, a graduate student under the direction of Jeff Gore, has been investigating the relationship and densities of rice water weevils in furrow-irrigated or row rice. During 2017 and 2018, Kelly conducted rice water weevil studies on 11 on-farm sites across the Mississippi Delta. Each location had a furrow-irrigated field compared ... Read More »

On track

California tracked sprayer

New ground sprayer design allows for wider boom, less rutting and improved efficiency • By Vicky Boyd, Editor • Randy Chrisman had an “aha” moment during the 2016-17 winter when he came up with the idea for a rubber-tracked sprayer with a wide boom that would be more efficient than traditional steel-wheeled rigs. A Williams, California, rice producer who also ... Read More »

Rain hinders rice planting in Louisiana

drill seeding rice near crowley

Heavy rainfall has been a challenge as rice farmers strive to get their 2019 crop planted. Farmers were able to get much of their crop planted during almost three weeks of dry weather, but rainfall during the first week of April has created an obstacle for farmers who needed to complete the rest of their planting. Todd Fontenot, Louisiana State ... Read More »

Arkansas rice production bounces back in 2018 from 2017

Arkansas rice harvest near Hazen

After a bruising 2017, in which substantial spring flooding cost growers in the state an estimated $175 million in lost production and damaged acreage, rice growers saw higher production in 2018 than in any of the three previous years, according to an April 4 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report, published by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics ... Read More »

Researchers get to the root of weedy rice’s aggressiveness

weedy rice roots

Weedy rice is neither wild rice nor commercial rice, but instead rice gone rogue that has shed some traits important to people. It also is an incredibly aggressive, potentially detrimental weed that pops up almost everywhere rice is grown, and it can reduce crop yields by more than 80 percent if it invades a field. Researchers from Washington University in ... Read More »

Take these steps to prepare for possible fertilizer shortages

fertilizer spreading

• By Trent Roberts • With current Mississippi River levels above flood stage along all of Arkansas’ eastern border, there are increasing concerns that limited barge traffic combined with reduced access to Arkansas ports may tighten fertilizer stocks during periods of high use. Current river depth at Memphis is at 30 feet and falling: however, there is still a significant ... Read More »

2019 planted rice acres expected to decline 3%, says NASS report

custom planting

Planted rice acres for 2019 are only expected to decline about 3 percent from 2018, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Services’ Prospective Plantings Report released March 29. Altogether, growers say, they plan to plant 2.87 million acres this year compared to 2.946 million acres in 2018. Growers in the top three rice-producing states — Arkansas, California and Louisiana — ... Read More »