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Ross Wood, C.C.A.
Stratton Seed Co.
I grew up in Waldenburg, Arkansas, where my grandfather farmed rice, soybeans and wheat, and my parents owned and operated an agricultural flying service. Aviation was my passion with the goal of becoming a crop duster like my father. He eventually convinced me to go to college and get a degree, so I would have options in life. In 2017, after a stint with a basic manufacturer selling propanil across the Mid-South, I had an opportunity to assume the retail responsibilities for Stratton Seed Co. in Stuttgart, Arkansas. I balanced my time between running the business and walking crops.
Timely Scouting Is Important
With susceptible crops being planted adjacent to rice, the first thing I do when I pull up to a field is look at all four sides and make note of what’s there. Then I check the wind direction and speed for the next seven days and make recommendations with that in mind. Due to these circumstances, we may have to use ground application for pre-emerge herbicides and problem fields where it’s challenging to make aerial applications.
In a few days, I look for escapes or newly emerged weeds. Timely scouting is key in finding and controlling small weeds. My rule of thumb is to target thumbnail size grass — 3/8-inch to ½-inch tall. This past year, I applied Clincher® SF herbicide and Prowl early post.
After that application, I picked up broadleaves and nutsedge before flood or before neighboring beans emerged. I always make my first post application early to control the small flush of weeds and add a residual to avoid trying to control large weeds going into flood. As for row rice, I seem to treat it like any other system early on and then come back with Loyant® herbicide or Grandstand® herbicide for pigweeds. Grandstand is always a good option when the rice field is next to $14 beans.
In 2022, the going to flood application was tough because it was windy and dry, and we had corn and soybeans on all sides of the rice. RebelEX® herbicide was a fit for most fields because of its wide weed spectrum. On fields where corn was on two sides, Grasp® SC herbicide or Grasp® Xtra herbicide got those acres.
This year, remember to use effective, multiple modes of action (MOAs) to combat weed resistance and don’t let grass get bigger than your thumbnail. Spray small!