Horizon Ag: Dry, Hot Weather Impacting Crop Management Needs

South Louisiana and Texas

Hot and dry conditions have been prevalent over the last few weeks. The growing conditions for rice have been really good, and the crop looks like it. Rice is responding favorably to fertilizer and water.
Overall, the south Louisiana rice crop is beginning to look really good. We do have our challenges, however. One that we are facing with the current weather pattern is getting fields flooded up in a timely manner. Because of N loss from ammonia volatilization on fields that aren’t flooded within approximately 5-7 days, Agrotain and other products with NBPT are really paying for themselves this year. I have heard that a few farms relying on surface water for irrigation are starting to have water shortages. I was told one farmer was praying that someone upstream would turn out crawfish water so the ditch where he gets his water wouldn’t get too low to pump.
Production with the new Provisia™ Rice System is going really well. We have seen some crop response from Provisia herbicide, but with a little patience and warm weather, the rice has grown out of it. Provisia herbicide is a really good tool for us in south Louisiana. So far, everyone has been pleased with the weed control. We are going to clean up some ground with this technology as long as farmers are good stewards and take care of it.
There is still rice planting going on in Texas east of Houston. It is really dry on both the east and west sides of Houston, and row crops are showing some drought stress. Overall, the crop looks good, but a rain would help tremendously. One of the greatest challenges we have faced in Texas so far is controlling weeds. Herbicides work much better on actively growing weeds, so drought-stressed weeds aren’t being controlled as well as we’d like.
If there is anything I can help you with, please give me a call.

Michael Fruge 
District Field Representative
(832) 260-6193

North Louisiana and Mississippi

What a difference a month makes! We’ve gone from wet and cool to hot and dry in less than a month. The rice in my area, in general, is looking better by the day, but we’re reaching a critical threshold with moisture. We’ve also had a few instances of seedling disease affecting stands. I think on our earliest-planted rice our seed treatments were stretched to their max, so it will be important to scout for adult water weevils as the flood is established.
There is a small amount of rice that has gone to flood while a large portion has been sprayed and has a starter fertilizer application on it but has not had any incorporating moisture. I’ve been getting calls about flushing and flush-flooding rice. I think in general we are past the point of waiting on rain. The heat units are accumulating. Flooding or flush irrigation will help activate herbicides, and fertilizer allows this crop to thrive.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call.

Tim Jett 
District Field Representative
(901) 687-6362