Weed Control: The Race Is On

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Attended University of Arkansas at Monticello for two years before starting to farm in 1978. Certified Crop Consultant. Consults on rice, cotton, soybeans and corn. Has consulted on rice for 15 years. Has consulted on cotton, soybeans and corn for 18 years. Serves as a deacon at the McGehee Church of Christ. Married to his wife, Karen, for 48 years. Two sons: Justin (Emily) and David (Michelle). Five grandchildren. Pat and Karen enjoy going to the beach in the fall. He also enjoys fishing with his grandsons and hunting in the wintertime.Recap: Weed Control — The Race Is On. 1. Following burndown, I like a three-shot, three-herbicide application behind the drill. 2. I have both levee rice and row rice, and the weed spectrum can be different on each one of them. 3. Barnyardgrass is our biggest challenge. If we don’t get the pre-emerge herbicides activated in a timely manner and the grass gets up, the race is on. 4. At that time, we begin applying Grasp® SC herbicide and Regiment to get the weeds under control. Then before I go to flood, I apply Grasp. If we have pigweed, I apply Loyant® herbicide right behind the Grasp application. 5. Loyant helps with coffeebean and a lot of the broadleaf weeds, too.

Pat Roberts

AGvice Crop Consulting
McGehee, Arkansas

I got involved with agriculture in high school working in the summers for a local farmer. After that, I wanted to be a farmer myself and was always on the lookout for land while attending college. A couple years later, some ground became available, so I started farming in 1978 and farmed for 27 years. In 2006, I began working for my brother, Tim Roberts, who is a consultant in Dyersburg, Tennessee. In 2009, I came back to McGehee, Arkansas, and started my own crop consulting business.

The most intense thing about rice farming today is scouting for weeds and applying the right herbicides to prevent them from coming up or take them out if they emerge. Last year, we had several rains early in the season to help activate our pre-emerge herbicides. But in June, the weather turned hot and dry — even at nighttime — which caused our yields to be down. 

Start Clean, Stay Clean

On heavy buckshot, we run Roundup and FirstShot herbicides to get rid of any weeds already out there. My pre-emerge program consists of Command, Sharpen and Facet herbicides. I like a three-shot, three-herbicide application behind the drill.

I have both levee rice and row rice, and the weed spectrum can be different on each one of them. I almost always make one more herbicide application on row rice. Barnyardgrass is our biggest challenge. If we don’t get the pre-emerge herbicides activated in a timely manner and the grass gets up, the race is on. At that time, we begin applying Grasp® SC herbicide and Regiment to get the weeds under control. Then before I go to flood, I apply Grasp. If we have pigweed, I apply Loyant® herbicide with a ground rig on the next trip right behind the Grasp application.

Kyle Colwell with Corteva Agriscience™ and I talk to each other almost every day that time of year to stay on top of the weeds. On row rice, we go after pigweed with Loyant, and it helps with coffeebean and a lot of the broadleaf weeds, too. Depending on the soil type, I also use Loyant in levee rice. For example, the soil type may be a little different at the upper end of the field. It may not be puredee buckshot, so I am going after pigweed and broadleaves.

Farmers and consultants have to get out and look for weeds early in the season. Start clean, stay clean, overlap pre-emerge herbicides and hope the Good Lord blesses us with a rain to activate them. Controlling weeds is the No. 1 goal to strive for.

™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Grasp® SC and Loyant® are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. © 2023 Corteva.

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