Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Choices, choices, choices: Consider all the variables

Sam Atwell
Agronomy Specialist

It’s time to finalize early season weed control decisions in Missouri rice. These decisions depend on already selected choices of several systems, such as furrow-irrigated, paddy-flooded, water-seeded, Clearfield, Provisia, hybrids or conventional rice.

Then there’s weed history, soil types, soil preparation, burn-downs, irrigation well efficacy, adjacent crops and neighbors. New in 2018 are four rice herbicides — RiceOne, Loyant, Gambit and the Provisia system — to go along with a list of old reliable ones.

So there’s lots to talk about with your team, consultant, dealer and banker. I like to minimize risk by having a full-season plan now, starting clean and staying under control throughout the season.

Choices are a wonderful gift from God, and rice farmers are blessed with more than most and too many to discuss here. I’ll reiterate: read, study, talk to your dealer and company reps, converse with your entire team, pick and choose a system, and then match the herbicides that fit best.

These new products have new chemistries or new combinations of old chemistries that may cause them to have new concerns with activity and carry-over. So make sure you read the label, learn all the precautions and restrictions, and pass this information on to all your staff.

Jim Heiser, University of Missouri weed researcher, presented his latest rice weed control research at our recent Missouri Rice Production meeting at the Malden Community Center. His talk included specific work with Gambit post herbicide on hard-to-control sedges that plague many Missouri rice fields, especially on our heavy clay soils.

All of these new herbicides can be beneficial in Missouri rice production. We suggest you use a well-designed weed control program with multiple modes of action by taking advantage of residual herbicides followed by post-emergence herbicides that fit your chosen system.

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