By AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Yields in Louisiana have rebounded after weak averages in the earliest fields. See comments by Dustin Harrell for more information.
Draining has started in Arkansas. The earliest report was from last Friday in south-central Arkansas and at least a few more fields were being drained this week. See Jarrod Hardke's update.
Rice stink bug pressure is declining in parts of the Midsouth now that more rice is heading and populations are dispersing to more fields.
LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS
Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana
"We were applying fungicides and stink bug materials last week and will probably be spraying this week, too. We might begin draining some early rice in 10 or 12 days. Rainfall has been scattered and highly variable. Over the weekend it rained 1 to 3 inches across parts of our area and then rain fell again today (7/24) in places."
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley
"We had a few days last week when it was dry enough to harvest and it looks like conditions over the next few days (from 7/26) will also permit people to move through the crop. Hopefully, a lot more rice will be harvested before the next rain.
"The good news is that yields have rebounded since some lower averages when harvest first started (see table with yields on this page). Persistent rains and high winds developed in and around mid-July when the early rice was flowering, and that took a toll on our first yields. But other factors, like long periods of overcast skies, have worked against us and also slowed crop development.
"A grower in St. Landry Parish said today that his rice had headed for a while but was just kind of sitting there. He said that 10 days ago he thought he would be into harvest 10 days later – meaning today – but now it looked to him like he was yet another 10 days out from harvest. It's been a strange season with all the rain and cloudy conditions.
"A good deal of sheath blight pressure has come in, too. Obviously, the conditions were quite conducive for it. Don Groth (Extension Plant Pathologist) wrote an article that goes into more detail about disease pressure right now.
"Plenty of people are setting up fields for the ratoon crop and some are asking about whether they should apply nitrogen while the ground is still wet or establish a flood and then apply nitrogen. In theory, flying nitrogen into the flood appears to be an option if the plants are actively growing. In that case, they would have a chance to quickly pick up the fertilizer.
"The key phrase in what I just said is "in theory". Research along those lines is limited, although we're doing a study this year. Still, though, it probably would be better to apply nitrogen on dry ground and then flood up the field.
"A few growers tell me that they will likely skip any straw management – either mowing or rolling – to avoid rutting fields."