PRO AG CONSULTING, INC.
In 1990, I worked as a rice scout for Dr. Nathan Slaton, who, at the time, was a county agent with the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. After graduating from college, I went to work in retail, but I always wanted to be a consultant. In 2002, I had the opportunity to become a full-time consultant and started Pro Ag Consulting, Inc.
The 2012 season was one of the most outstanding rice seasons we have ever had – one for the record books. To try to avoid panicle blight, we made a concerted effort to plant non-hybrid varieties first so that they were not flowering during the extremely hot days. Hybrids tend to show more tolerance to this disease.
Coming into the 2013 season, we are focusing on burndown. For the most part, we didn’t rut up our fields during harvest last year, so we will be able to go in with a lot of no-till fields. It’s also important to get your fertility program right. You can’t expect top output if you don’t put in top input.
We grid sample and make variable rate applications of P and K where needed. We were pretty successful in using the University of Arkansas’ N-STaR test for soil nitrogen last year and plan to use it again this year. If you’re not going to grid sample, at least get a good topography sample. You need to have some idea of what is going on with the fertility in your fields.
Another early season consideration is having a good seedbed that is conducive to getting a good stand. With the many acres of hybrids that we plant, we’ve got to have good soil-seed contact because of the low seeding rates. Also, drain all of the potholes in the field.
Before planting, make sure your drill is mechanically sound. Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate. You’ve got to know what your drills are doing. When planting hybrids, we use RiceTec’s drill calibration worksheet that is located on their Web site and the RiceTec Toolbox app that has a drill calibration module.
As far as weed control, we use a lot of Grasp and RebelEX herbicides in water-seeded situations and have always had good luck with those products. Going into flood, we have applied Rice Beaux for the post-emergent effect, plus the additional residual boost we get with the Bolero aspect of it.
Early season, to address weed resistance issues, we are going to use every available MOA that we have. We’re taking a defensive and proactive approach to resistance. We’re fighting it where we have it and trying to prevent it where we don’t. It’s important to develop a weed control plan and then put that plan in place.
As Dr. Ford Baldwin once told me, “The best weed in the field is the weed you never see.” Be sure to include residual herbicides and overlap them to achieve the most effective results.
Don’t forget. You have to start strong to finish strong.
• B.S. in Agronomy – University of Arkansas
• Certified Crop Advisor
• Consults on rice, soybeans, corn, wheat and milo
• Member of the Rice Leadership Development Program class of 2013
• Attends Rison United Methodist Church
• Married to wife, Jennifer. Two sons: Caleb and Dylan
• Enjoys being outdoors, spending time with family and friends and hunting
Recap: Start Strong To Finish Strong
1. In 2012, to try to avoid panicle blight, we planted non-hybrid varieties first so that they were not flowering during the extremely hot days. Hybrids tend to show more tolerance to this disease.
2. Coming into the 2013 season, we are focusing on burndown, grid sampling and making variable rate applications of P and K
where needed. We are using Arkansas’ N-StaR test for soil nitrogen again this year.
3. Prepare a seedbed that allows for good soil-seed contact, especially if you are planting low seeding rates with the hybrids. Drain all of the potholes in the fields.
4. Before planting, make sure your drill is mechanically sound. Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate.
5. We use a lot of Grasp and RebelEX herbicides in water-seeded situations.
6. To address weed resistance issues, we are going to use every available MOA that we have. Include residual herbicides and overlap them to achieve the most effective results