Specialists Speaking

Don’t just water. Irrigate!

MIRImultiple-inlet rice irrigation

In recent years, the focus of irrigation management in rice has taken on a whole new twist. The increase in furrow-irrigated rice, or row rice, has now surpassed 15% of the rice acres in Arkansas. While this practice has the potential to reduce irrigation demand, it is not always the case depending on the situation. Irrigation is often not needed ... Read More »

We can only hope recent cold reduced overwintering pests

aerial application

Southeast Texas experienced a severe cold snap lasting almost a week beginning about Valentine’s Day. The temperatures (both high and low) were well below freezing for several days. Some Texans were still without power and water the week of Feb. 22. ‘I don’t know how the weather affected our Texas rice farmers, but possibly storage facilities, stored rice and farm ... Read More »

Soil test and scout fields to ID zinc deficiency

zinc deficiency

strawEditor’s note: Welcome Dr. Ronnie Levy. He is taking over LSU AgCenter Extension rice specialist duties from Dr. Dustin Harrell, who was promoted to resident coordinator of the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in Crowley, Louisiana. Ronnie is no newcomer to rice, having spent more than 20 years as an LSU AgCenter county agent in Acadia Parish working in ... Read More »

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 »