Wednesday, May 25, 2022

It’s time to get your game on

Carroll Smith, Editor

2021 is in the rear view mirror, and you’ve been planning for the upcoming season for the past few months. As temperatures warm up across the Rice Belt, it’s time to get your game on. It’s no secret you will have more than the “normal” challenges this year, but several articles in the March issue of Rice Farming offer some tips for how to deal with them.

In a recent edition of the Mississippi Crop Situation podcast out of Stoneville, Mississippi, the “Crop Doctors,” Drs. Don Cook, Jason Bond and Tom Allen, Jr. with Mississippi State University sat down to discuss how to manage the 2022 crop with supply chain and product availability challenges.

For example, Allen suggested taking note of variety selection and factor that into your herbicide decision and application timing. This, he said, could help trim costs at the back end, rather than attempting to save those costs at the front end with seeding applications and having more of an issue later. 

Bond said knowing both your short-term and long-term goals and having plans is the key for making crop management decisions this season.

“Plans, plural, because chances are you’re going to encounter a situation in 2022 where something you want is not going to be available, or the price is going to be such that you are going to seek out alternatives,” he said.

Read the synopsis of their discussion on page 12 — “Possible product availability issues.”

Carbon sequestration is another hot topic in the rice industry, but the proliferation of information on the subject contains a lot of conjecture and not so much hard data. The research agronomists with G&H Associates in Stuttgart, Arkansas, said they were asked by an environmental, forward-thinking sustainable company to evaluate five rice varieties or hybrids for yield, biomass and percent carbon of rice roots, straw, whole grains and brokens and bran and rice hulls for total carbon uptake during the growing season to develop baseline information on these measured parameters.

They accepted the assignment last season and reported their findings in the article on page 14 — “2021 rice carbon uptake data.” As a rice farmer, it might be a good idea to take a look at these hard numbers. As the Arkansas researchers said, “We have to stand up and explain our agricultural profession along with our farming and sustainable farming practices to those we may be interacting with in the carbon markets. Otherwise, we may not be appropriately compensated in our sustainable farming and carbon sequestration practices.” Definitely food for thought.

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