Take Care Of Your Crop From Start to Finish

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 9.57.19 AMBy Linus Regan
GreenPoint Ag
Morse, LA

After graduating from Louisiana State University in 1979, I farmed rice, soybeans, crawfish and raised cattle for 28 years. In 2006, I went to work for a southwest Louisiana agricultural retail business, which later became known as GreenPoint AG. Today, I consult primarily on rice and soybeans.

Although the rice crop got off to a slow start last year because of the cold weather, most of our farmers did really well in the end. Some of them had their best yields ever, probably because there was less disease pressure. This year, dry-seeded rice planting was delayed because of wet weather, and the rice has been slow to emerge because of the cool nights. Most of the medium grain rice was water-seeded.

Control Weeds, Insects And Disease
The main weed problems we have here in southwest Louisiana are fall panicum, sprangletop and yellow nutsedge. Like the rice, these weeds have been slow to emerge because of the cold weather, and we are controlling them with RebelEX and Herbivore herbicides. We like to take care of weeds: the earlier, the better, before they get too big. For sprangletop and fall panicum escapes, we come back with Clincher herbicide.

To help control water weevils, practically every acre is planted with Dermacor-treated seed. Because of the cool weather, disease pressure wasn’t as big a problem last year as it was the year before. The top diseases in our area are sheath blight, blast and cercospora. For the best results, we recommend putting out a preventative fungicide application, such as Quilt Xcel or Gem, at the proper time – early booting. Also, Sercadis fungicide, which is fully labeled this year, is effective on strobilurin-resistant sheath blight. Some farmers like to apply Sercadis along with a propiconazole fungicide, too.

Nitrogen Stabilizer Is Key
As for fertility, I believe it’s important to put out your nitrogen on dry ground with a nitrogen stabilizer, such as Agrotain. I’ve seen a definite yield increase with this approach.

As we are getting into the 2014 growing season, I would tell rice farmers to take good care of their crop. Pay close attention to water management and timing of nitrogen applications. Take care of any problem weeds early and apply a fungicide to prevent disease from adversely affecting your yield.

Recap:

  1. The main weed problems we have here in southwest Louisiana are fall panicum, sprangletop and yellow nutsedge. Like the rice, these weeds have been slow to emerge because of the cold weather, and we are controlling them with RebelEX and Herbivore herbicides.
  2. For sprangletop and fall panicum escapes, we come back with Clincher herbicide.
  3. To help control water weevils, practically every acre is planted with Dermacor-treated seed.
  4. The top diseases in our area are sheath blight, blast and cercospora. For the best results, we recommend putting out a preventative fungicide application, such as Quilt Xcel or Gem, at the proper time – early booting.
  5. Sercadis fungicide, which is fully labeled this year, is effective on strobilurin-resistant sheath blight.
  6. I believe it’s important to put out your nitrogen on dry ground with a nitrogen stabilizer, such as Agrotain. I’ve seen a definite yield increase with this approach.