AgFax Rice - Louisiana

by AgFax Media LLC,


Draining has started in the Midsouth and more fields should be to that point next week. Rains fell through parts of the region this week, which gave some growers a break from constant pumping.

Harvest has pushed ahead in southwest Louisiana and coastal Texas. See comments by Louisiana's Jason Harrell.

Fall armyworms are becoming a bigger headache in parts of the Midsouth. 

Rice stink bug (RSB) treatments continue. In places, the pressure has decreased to some extent, but RSB remain active in certain areas.


Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana: "We're starting to make a good bit of fungicide applications. A lot of rice ranges from flagging to early boot stage. We finally have it all topdressed. Where some is heading out we're also spraying in spots for stink bugs. I don't recall ever seeing numbers this heavy this early. Less than 15% of my rice is heading, and plenty of the rest still has a ways to go due to wet spring weather conditions and delays."

Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley: "Rice yields have picked up nicely since those really disappointing averages at the very beginning of harvest. We now seem to be averaging in the mid 40s (barrels/acre) for most varieties, with some reports into the 50s. The hybrids are averaging somewhere in the 50s. All that is so much better than the relatively low averages we heard when combines first started running. (Editor's Note: Connect in our Links section to more yield reports provided by Dustin Harrell.)

"Scattered showers and rainfall events came through this week and more rain is in the forecast over the next 10 days. All that will slow harvest. Since much of southwest Louisiana's rice is ratooned, all this rain has raised questions about how to deal with nitrogen on the second crop. If fields are muddy after first-crop harvest, do you fly on nitrogen then, knowing that you might lose some? What if rainwater is standing in the field?

"Let me admit that we have limited research on questions along those lines. But based on experiences and observations, if soils are just muddy and you use Agrotain with the nitrogen, you'll probably be okay. If you opt to fly it on fields after you've pumped up the water, a lot will probably depend on how well the plants are actively growing. If you see a lot of green and the root system appears to be active, then you could fly on the nitrogen like you would at midseason.

"But if rice was cut at lower moisture, it might take a little while for plants to begin regrowing. In that case, you could lose some nitrogen if fertilizer went out before plants could take it up.

"In north Louisiana we're seeing a lot more heading. It's been quiet up there, just some occasional drift and nutrient issues."