Specialists Speaking

Variety selection, early planting critical to high-yielding crops

M-210 medium grain

We have had some good ground working weather in the Texas Rice Belt during November and December, so proactive farmers are breaking and leveling ground in preparation for the 2020 rice crop. This fall/winter preparation is crucial to planting early — some Texas rice farmers try to plant as early as mid-February. Early planting allows for avoiding late summer and ... Read More »

Poor conditions prevailed during 2019 season

wet spring rice in Mississippi

The one silver lining for the 2019 rice season in Louisiana was that we had a dry September, and many growers were able to work the ground and prepare for the 2020 season. It was a way to close the door on the 2019 season, which, for many, was a season they would like to forget. Rice yields in Louisiana ... Read More »

Consider these nitrogen management tips for row rice

kernel smut

Arkansas appears headed toward a further increase in furrow-irrigated rice acres in 2019. This production practice is finding a substantial rotational fit for growers to save on land management costs, primarily associated with expenses related to tillage. Ultimately, there are some important management considerations that go with this unique and evolving production practice compared to our traditional delayed-flood rice management. ... Read More »

Delay nitrogen, delay yield

aerial fertilizer applicatioin

The hot, dry conditions of 2018 were the poster child for difficulty establishing a timely flood to incorporate nitrogen (N) fertilizer. To achieve consistently high yields, timely application and incorporation of preflood N is the most critical input in rice. Luck always helps, of course. The DD50 Rice Management Program (http://DD50.uaex.edu) is critical for timing preflood N. Originally developed to ... Read More »

Consider a seed treatment to boost seedling vigor

seedling disease

Early season disease management is becoming increasingly important as Texas rice farmers trend toward planting earlier at lower seeding rates (about 50 percent of Texas rice acreage is planted to hybrids). Clearly, the earlier plantings have a better chance of producing both high-yielding main and ratoon crops. But planting earlier means exposing seed to lower temperatures and possibly wetter soil, ... Read More »

Lessons learned

Provisia Rice

Researchers fine-tuned N, seeding recommendations for Provisia rice during 2018 season. The 2018 season was the first year the Provisia variety, PVL01, was grown commercially. Louisiana grew approximately 10,000 acres of PVL01, and the average yield was about 42-43 barrels per acre statewide (6,804-6,966 pounds per acre; 151-155 bushels per acre). Many growers were satisfied with the Provisia system, and ... Read More »

Good weed control starts with proper weed ID

virginia buttonwood

Vicky asked me to talk about weed management, so I asked Dr. Muthukumar Bagavathiannan to help me. Muthu is our rice weed scientist located at College Station, but he makes many forays into the Texas Rice Belt during the growing season. Of utmost importance is proper weed identification, which demands frequent and careful scouting. Last year, I was called out ... Read More »

Growers have new tools in their toolbox for 2019

texas pesticide collection

We have been fortunate to see new products on the market for rice over the past few years. These products have put more tools in the toolbox for us to use to manage our rice crop. In 2018, we saw three new herbicides (Loyant, Gambit and Provisia), one new herbicide premix (RiceOne), one fungicide (AmistarTop) and of course, the new ... Read More »

Growers achieve near-record yields despite challenges

Arkansas rice harvest near Hazen

Record grain yields were last achieved in Louisiana during the 2014 growing season when we were blessed with very favorable weather conditions. Until 2018, each crop since 2014 had been successively lower yielding than the year before. Louisiana saw constant rainfall and cloudy conditions nearly the entire rice growth period in 2015. In 2016, record flooding occurred when more than ... Read More »

Keep eyes peeled for armyworms and planthoppers

kids at the InsectExpo 2018

Here in Texas, we’re off to a cold, rather wet spring, which creates a challenge for stand establishment. I hope the weather warms soon. This month, I want to talk about mid-season insect pest control for Texas rice farmers. If you did not treat your seed with an insecticide to control rice water weevil, I suggest you apply a labeled ... Read More »