I had my first experience with rice when I worked as a research intern with a crop protection company the summer before I graduated from the University of Arkansas. After that, I scouted rice for retail companies and joined Crop Production Services in July 2017. As of April 1, I have been involved with this crop for 28 years.
Our biggest weed problem is barnyardgrass that is resistant to multiple herbicide modes of action. We also battle sprangletop and smartweed. We’ve found that applying RebelEX herbicide for the first pre-flood application usually means we don’t have to come back with a post-flood application of another herbicide.
Last year, one of my farmers had a 35-acre field he had leveled late in the year so it was really soft. After getting a stand, we didn’t want to track it up with a ground rig. But by the time the wind got right for the airplane to spray, we had barnyardgrass ranging from just emerging to tillering. The grass was much bigger than the rice. I knew I needed a strong herbicide program to save the field.
Right before going to flood, I ran RebelEX herbicide at 20 ounces, Facet L herbicide at 21 ounces to help with the residual and a quart of MSO surfactant per acre. I used the high rate of RebelEX because I didn’t want the barnyardgrass to get away from us. This combination cleaned up everything — including the broadleaves — and was the only application we made on that field except for spraying the four levees. The RebelEX did an excellent job. I was shocked that it killed even the most mature grasses. And most importantly, the farmer was happy with the outcome.
I’m also excited about Loyant herbicide, which should help with our barnyardgrass problem and work well on land-formed fields that farmers can pump up in three to four days. This year, I’m going to try Loyant on our row-rice fields to control pigweed. We can apply it pre-flood before the rice completely canopies, and then keep the field wet for three to four days to make sure we get good control.
Loyant is an effective broadleaf material as well as a grass herbicide so it should help control dayflower, too. For farmers who want to use Loyant this year, the main thing to remember is to pick fields where you can get the water on pretty fast to ensure maximum control.
We have good rice farmers in this area, and they were able to get their ground prepared last fall. This is a positive that saves a lot of money, too. Once it dries out, they can get in there with their drills and plant. We are as ready to go as we have ever been in this heavy gumbo soil.
Crop Production Services
- B.S., Agronomy, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
- Has consulted for 28 years and today advises on rice, corn, soybeans and grain sorghum
- Arkansas Certified Crop Adviser and Resistance Management Specialist
- Member of the American Society of Agronomy
- Married to his wife, Angela. One daughter: Kayla Lucas, husband Spencer. Two sons: Elmer D. “Trey” Smith III, Ph.D., and Jacob Dalton Smith, wife Brianna.
- Two grandchildren: Granddaughter, Emery Smith, 3. Grandson, Liam Smith, 18 months.
- Enjoys deer and duck hunting, mowing his five-acre property and spending time with the family