by AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Rice harvest has started in southwest Louisiana and parts of Texas.
More rice is heading in the Midsouth. If anything has been drained it would likely be in the limited amount of acres planted in Express, an early maturing hybrid that CPS is bringing to the market.
Intense heat has pushed crop development in parts of the Midsouth. The jury is still out on how the heat will affect quality and yields.
Stink bugs remain a factor as more rice begins heading in the Midsouth. Blast and sheath blight are turning up a bit more widely in the Midsouth.
Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Innis, Louisiana: "Our oldest rice – all hybrid – is in the dough stage. We've had to treat for rice stink bugs, which are terrible this year. We're not looking to drain anything yet. Our youngest rice is behind crawfish, and it's about a week past green ring. So far, we haven't had to deal with disease."
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley: "Harvest has started and just a handful of yields have trickled in. Some CL111 and Mermentau averaged in the low to mid 40s (barrels/acre) and some Express was in the mid 30s.
"Since we've only just started cutting, we don't have enough reports to even talk about trends. You always expect the first yields to be the best, so these early reports are a bit underwhelming. We have seen a lot of blanking, maybe due to showers during flowering or higher-than-normal temperatures, especially at night. Hopefully, that will be confined to a limited part of the crop.
"Harvest will get underway next week on a wider basis, so we'll know more then. Any rice being cut now, of course, will be ratooned. We've already cut Express in some of our trials and have put the flood on again."