Specialists Speaking

Varietal choices, new varieties and certified seed

black sooty mold

In California, most farmers grow medium-grain varieties. The commercially available medium Calrose rice varieties meet the high quality and yield standards for California. Varietal selection is one of the first and most important decisions a rice grower will need to make each year. In making a decision, first consider the maturity class that fits into your farming operations and climatic ... Read More »

‘My sincerest gratitude to all’ as I leave MSU

hurricane laura damage

This space is generally provided to wrap-up the season and reflect on the attributes that aided production as well as the many setbacks that were encountered and eventually overcome on our way to producing the 2020 crop. I find it very difficult to collect my thoughts on what was a very different year for multiple reasons, mostly since this will ... Read More »

If you had smut in 2019, plan to protect crops this season

false smut

Epidemic levels of kernel smut and false smut were prevalent in the 2019 Louisiana rice crop. While smuts have always been a common problem in northeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta rice-growing regions, smuts were never really a concern in southwest Louisiana. Over the past five years, sightings of smut in southwest Louisiana rice fields have increased a little bit ... Read More »

Despite wet conditions, water use remains a hot topic

multiple-inlet irrigation

As I write this column (March 19), we historically have had at least one rice field planted in Mississippi or are beginning to plant the last week of March. But this year, I fear we will not get the first rice planted until the first week of April due to prolonged wet conditions. Speaking of wetness, the topic for this ... Read More »

Optimize crop fertility with soil sampling, urease inhibitors

Early season fertility is crucial to producing a profitable, sustainable rice crop. Of utmost importance is to take soil fertility samples as directed and send them to a reputable lab for analysis. If you have not done this, do it now. If you plan to ratoon crop, you must include this option in your overall fertility management program. You should ... Read More »

Don’t guess. Soil test!

planting

There are several nutrients we should pay close attention to when it comes to rice production. Along with nitrogen, the most important nutrients to monitor include phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and zinc. When I make farm visits to evaluate nutrient problems, the culprit is generally one of these five. Visual observation of nutrient deficiency symptoms is one tool used to diagnose ... Read More »

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 »