Adjust Weed Control To Planting System

John Lawrence Zaunbrecher
Simplot Grower Solutions
Eunice, Louisiana

I grew up on a rice farm in Acadia Parish, Louisiana. After graduating from McNeese State University, G&H Seed Co. hired me to work in the warehouse and run the seed treatment division. I later transferred to the field and began consulting and now consult for Simplot in Eunice, Louisiana.

In 2018, we had a wet fall and were not able to get the ground prepared for the spring. High winds from Hurricane Barry in July negatively affected pollination and put a lot of stress on the rice plants. First-crop yields were down 10 to 15 barrels (36 to 55 bushels), and milling was off, along with ratoon crop yields. Last year, we had a dry fall and were able to get the ground ready. If the weather cooperates, we could have some rice planted before March 1.

Pinpoint Flood System
For early season weed control, we start with a pre-plant burndown and Command — a residual herbicide to help keep the fields clean. We typically follow up with some combination of Newpath, Permit and Grasp® SC herbicides, depending on the weed spectrum. However, we are starting to switch gears to Loyant® herbicide as more farmers transition to the “old school” method of water-seeding using a pinpoint flood system because of weedy rice. With this approach, fields are flooded and worked in the water. They are drained for a short time after seeding so the rice plant can peg down. After the root is set, the field is reflooded.

Once rice reaches the 4- to 5-leaf stage, we apply Loyant followed by a fertilizer application. Loyant is going to be a big factor in this system because it is excellent for aquatic and broadleaf control. No other herbicides are applied during the season in a water-seeded pinpoint flood situation. This year, about 65% of my acres will use the water-seeded pinpoint flood system, and 100% of those acres will probably have Loyant on them. It’s a one-stop shop.

Dry-Seeded Rice
In dry-seeded rice, we apply Command, Sharpen and Roundup® herbicides up front and follow this application with Newpath, Permit and Grasp SC, or we may just use a shot of Permit followed by a Loyant/Newpath tank mix, depending on the weed spectrum. Right after permanent flood, we apply Clincher® SF herbicide postemergence because we know the grass is out there. We fight a lot of sprangletop and fall panicum. If you wait until the grass pokes out of the top of the rice, you are behind the eight ball, and yield is already affected.

As we begin the season, remember that your future is safe with guidance from Simplot Grower Solutions and Corteva Agriscience.

Geaux Tigahs!

John Lawrence Zaunbrecher

  • Grew up on a rice farm in South Louisiana.
  • B.S. degree in agriculture business, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
  • Has consulted for seven years on rice, soybeans and corn.
  • Farms rice and crawfish in Acadia Parish.
  • Wife: Erin. Two children: Henry (2) and Anna Grace (10 months).
  • Enjoys time with family and friends and deer hunting.