AgFax Rice - Harvest Starts in Louisiana

By AgFax Media LLC,


Harvest has started in southwest Louisiana. See comments by Dustin Harrell.

More rice is heading in the Midsouth.

Rice stink bug numbers have jumped above threshold in some of the earliest-planted rice in Arkansas. See comments by Gus Lorenz. Some treatments have been made. Armyworms also are turning up in places.

Blast has become more apparent in Arkansas and Mississippi. A few applications have been made for sheath blight, although no significant issues have come to light.



Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:

"Two fields – both in CL111 – have been harvested so far. One producer estimated that the field averaged in the upper 40s (barrels per acre) and the other was in the lower to mid 40s.

"This is about a week earlier than we when usually hear the first report of any harvest starting. At one point I thought it would be about 2 weeks earlier than normal, but overcast conditions since then slowed crop development. I expect harvest to gradually gain momentum, with a somewhat bigger portion of it starting next week.

"Those first 2 fields were planted in mid-February.

"In northeast Louisiana a lot of midseason has already gone out and it's about time in those parishes to start scouting for diseases. If you're concerned about smut, the propiconazole must go out while rice is still in boot, preferably at mid boot and certainly before boot split.

"In southwest Louisiana we need to start thinking about our post-harvest steps to prepare the crop for optimal ratoon yields. That includes gibberellic acid, which has been shown to increase ratoon yields. As an option, it can be tankmixed with a stink bug treatment.

"Post-harvest stubble management also provides a yield increase, potentially a 5-barrel improvement. Stubble can either be rolled or mowed with a flail mower or a Bush Hog-type mower. The recommended cutting height is 8 inches. Rolling or mowing delays maturity for about 2 weeks but it leaves you with a more even stand. Also, this reduces cercospora, which is the main disease in ratoon production.

"Go with 90 pounds of nitrogen per acre when you fertilize the ratoon crop, and that's about the optimum rate whether you're ratooning varieties or hybrids. Apply it on dry ground and then quickly establish a shallow flood.

"The best potential yields are in fields where first-crop harvest was completed before August 15. If you're later than that cutting the first crop, reduce the nitrogen rate incrementally. If the first crop harvest is as late as September 1, I'd recommend applying little or no nitrogen in the second crop.

"Any N applied in that late situation will stretch out maturity. That, in turn, increases the risk of the second crop being caught by frost. Also, skip the stubble management – rolling or mowing – if rice is harvested after August 15 since that also prolongs maturity and increases the risk of being caught by frost.

"Also, a reminder – the North Louisiana Rice and Soybean Field Day will be held near Oak Ridge on Wednesday, July 12. (Here's more information.)


Johnny Saichuk, Consulting Agronomist, Ducks Unlimited, South Louisiana

"I've seen what looks like panicle blight in some rice, which doesn't surprise me since the weather was hot and muggy when the field was blooming. I suspect that more may turn up.

"One grower I've been working with this year will probably start cutting by the end of next week, depending on the weather.

"This is the first week when we've gone for several days without any kind of big rain. We've had spotty showers but no significant storms. All the rain this spring and summer concerns me. Due to the rain, we've had less of the sunshine needed to make a better crop. With a wet June, a crop typically isn't as strong as the one you'll cut after a dry June."