Take Proactive Stance Against Weeds

Robb Dedman
Ultimate Ag Consulting Inc.
Rison, Arkansas

Last year, we struggled coming out of the gate with all the rainfall we experienced. It was a challenge to get a rice stand in some fields, which resulted in a lot of replanting. After we finally got the crop up, we battled weeds pretty hard. In our area, we have barnyardgrass, weedy rice and a lot of tighthead (Amazon) sprangletop. On the broadleaf side, we fight coffeebean and jointvetch. We may pick up a few smartweeds but are able to keep them under control pretty easily.

I always say the best weed is the weed we never see, so we start out by overlapping residual herbicides. This program can be expensive, but that’s how we battle resistance. We come back with a pre-flood postemergence application of Loyant® herbicide to help clean up any escaped grasses, broadleaf weeds and sedges. We have a terrible issue with ALS-resistant annual sedge. After barnyardgrass and sprangletop, it’s our hardest weed to control. That’s where Loyant plays a big role in our program.

Consider the Production System
I usually tank-mix Loyant with another herbicide, depending on the production system. In CLEARFIELD rice, I typically apply Loyant and Beyond herbicides. On Provisia rice, we apply a tank mix of Loyant and Provisia herbicides, which works really well. Loyant controls the sedges and broadleaf weeds, and Provisia takes care of the weedy rice and grasses.

We apply RebelEX® herbicide postemergence to help control small sprangletop and aquatic weeds in our water-seeded rice.

The mild, wet winter could have a slight negative effect, but not from a weed standpoint because all of my acres are zero-grade and stay flooded all winter. Water is our “cover crop” that helps decompose any leftover straw, provides a home for waterfowl and assists with weed control. After we take off the water, the fields are completely clean and ready to plant so we are able to no-till. We can apply our residual herbicides and then clean up any escapes with the postemergence products.

I encourage my rice growers to be proactive instead of reactive. Scout hard, scout often and look for little weeds. While the weeds are small, we have the opportunity to kill them. Once weeds get any height to them, they are more difficult to control.

There is going to be a lot of rice this year, and I am excited about the season. Remember that farmers feed America, so we have to produce the highest quality crops we possibly can. Farm first and let the good Lord take care of the rest.

Robb Dedman

  • Worked as a rice scout for Jefferson County Extension Agent Dr. Nathan Slaton while attending high school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
  • B.S. degree in agronomy, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 1995.
  • Established Ultimate Ag Consulting Inc. in 2002.
  • Consults on rice, soybeans, corn and wheat in the Delta area of southeast Arkansas — Desha, Chicot, Ashley and Drew counties.
  • Named 2017 Rice Consultant of the Year.
  • Wife: Jennifer. Two sons: Caleb Ryan (17) and Dylan Everett (13).
  • Enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling and
    hunting and fishing in the fall and winter.