FullPage hybrids performed as expected during challenging 2019 season
• By Vicky Boyd,
Despite challenging conditions, RiceTec’s FullPage herbicide-tolerant rice system performed as expected during the 2019 season with improved imidazolinone tolerance and agronomic traits similar to current Clearfield rice hybrids.
The Alvin, Texas-based hybrid rice development company had about 20 farm-scale FullPage demonstrations planted from South Texas and South Louisiana north to the Bootheel of Missouri.
“2018 had exceptional yields across all hybrids and varieties,” says Whitney Blake, RiceTec Mid-South sales agronomist. “This year was more average across the board, so we did see, on average, about 200 bushels dry across the 20 demonstrations spread from Texas to Missouri.”
Of course, he says, some yields were higher than 200 bushels, while some were lower.
“Speaking in general, they weren’t quite what they were (in 2018) — that’s how farming goes,” Blake says. “The crop was later this year. When you push a crop later, you start running into tighter windows in the summer to fill that grain out.”
Two FullPage hybrids, RT7321 FP and RT7521 FP, will be available commercially for the 2020 season.
RT7321 FP is an early hybrid, reaching maturity in 109 days, whereas RT7521 FP is slightly later at 116 days. They are similar in agronomic performance to RT7311 Clearfield and Gemini 214 Clearfield, respectively.
Testing herbicide partners
Both FullPage hybrids are paired with the IMI herbicides, Preface and Postscript, from Adama USA. The IMI herbicides are ALS inhibitors.
Hybrids are created when two dissimilar parents are crossed, resulting in progeny that have better traits than either of the parents individually. This is sometimes referred to as hybrid vigor.
As with Clearfield hybrids, FullPage hybrids were developed using traditional breeding methods and are not genetically modified.
RiceTec designed the FullPage system specifically for its hybrids, resulting in improved tolerance to the IMI herbicides.
Andy Kendig, Adama herbicide development lead, has been testing Preface and Postscript on FullPage hybrids at variable rates in experimental trials for the past few years and has seen excellent crop safety.
“We feel good that we have really good tolerance, and recommend that growers use the the full label rate of 6 fluid ounces per acre to get the best possible control,” he says.
During 2019, Kendig also conducted small-plot trials to determine the compatibility of the two Adama IMI herbicides with common tankmix partners.
“We’ve seen excellent results from the common tank mix and program herbicides,” he says. “Weed control in rice is a program approach, and growers need to add additional herbicides for alternative modes of action and to control weeds not normally controlled by Preface and Postscript.”
‘FullPage rice can handle it’
The improved IMI herbicide tolerance was one trait that attracted Marcus Pousson to plant a demonstration field of RT7521 FP in 2019.
The Welsh, Louisiana, producer had planted 100% Clearfield RiceTec hybrids during the past four years.
“I’m thinking the rate’s a little bit higher on the Preface, which is a little better because some of the (weeds) are starting to get resistance. FullPage rice can handle it — it doesn’t sting it.”
For the occasional weedy rice escape, Pousson had his crawfish crew hand rouge the field and remove the plants before they could go to seed.
He planted 450,000 seeds per acre, which is the recommended rate for lighter soils. On heavier soils, RiceTec recommends 500,000 seeds per acre.
Pousson put out Command and Preface behind the seed drill, followed by a second Preface application tankmixed with Permit preflood. The Permit picks up indigo, also known as coffee bean or hemp sesbania, and sedges.
Craig Hamm, RiceTec district sales manager, says he has some other growers who also used Preface as a pre with good results as long as they got the flood on quickly.
Other growers put out the first 6-ounce shot of Preface on two-leaf rice, followed by a second 6-ounce application at tillering.
Although hybrids have resistance to blast, Pousson applies a fungicide to control other diseases, such sheath blight and smuts, and to have healthier plants going into the second crop.
His first crop yielded 48 barrels (172 bushels) per acre dried, which he says were some of the best yields in the area.
“It could have been better, but with the weather conditions we had, it was pretty good,” Pousson says, referring to the rainy summer that hampered pollination and grain fill.
His second crop yielded only 11 barrels (40 bushels) per acre, which he blamed on rain during pollination and hot night temperatures in the fall.
“I think with the right conditions, it’s a 20- to 30-barrel second crop,” Pousson says, adding he plans to plant additional fields to FullPage hybrids in 2020.
Trying new things
John “Tee” Guidry, who farms near Raynes, Louisiana, likes to try new things, especially if a company has some data on them.
When his RiceTec rep, Nicky Miller, mentioned FullPage, Guidry wanted to try a field.
He used 4 ounces of Command tankmixed with Roundup as a burndown before no-till drilling RT7521 FP.
At the three-leaf rice stage, he applied 6 ounces of Preface, Prowl and a third rate of Permit.
Guidry followed three weeks later at tillering with a second shot of Preface and a half rate of Permit.
“The weed control was great,” he says. Guidry cut 52 barrels dry per acre (187 bushels per acre) on his first crop, about 14 barrels (50 bushels) more than his non-hybrids. He did not ratoon his FullPage field.
Although Guidry says the FullPage system provided excellent barnyardgrass control, he had some challenges with resistant weedy rice.