South Louisiana and Texas
It has been really hot and dry in the South, and rice is growing really well. Some areas received rain over the weekend, but it was very spotty. I have heard about some areas receiving as much as 4 inches and other people not getting a drop. Farmers who haven't received any rain are having a really hard time getting fields flooded. Some farmers just keep flushing through the fields because they cannot get them flooded.
Overall, I think the crop looks really good, and we have some fields that are getting close to fungicide applications. With the dry weather, we should not have much disease pressure. With that being said, I would recommend a fungicide application to prevent blast if you are growing our Provisia™ variety PVL01. Just because you do not see leaf blast does not mean you can’t get rotten neck blast. Be proactive with your fungicide on this variety.
Weather in Texas seems to mirror south Louisiana, with it being hot and dry, along with a few scattered rains last week. The crop looks really good so far. We have a lot of CL153 in Texas this year, and it looks really good so far. We are hopeful that CL153 will perform like it did last year and everyone will have a good return on their investment.
North Louisiana and Mississippi
Despite the early challenges, the rice crop, in general, is progressing and continues to show improvement. We are at or are approaching flood quickly on the bulk of the rice in my area.
One concerning issue we are facing is that we have some rice ready to flood, and fertilizer is being applied to wet ground due to the sporadic rainfall we’ve been receiving. There will be some rice where fertilizer will have to be split over the course of a few weeks to reach the total units required going into mid-season. It will be important to feed the rice as needed approaching mid-season and to not overfertilize past the mid-season point, to minimize the potential to increase disease pressure heading into the reproductive stage. If at all possible, make fertilizer applications on dry ground followed by a timely flood to get the most efficient response out of your fertilizer applications.
I’ve spoken to a few people who have had to make an insecticide application after discovering the presence of adult rice water weevils in some fields. Due to the environmental conditions that put an excessive amount of pressure on seed treatments this spring, it is important to scout for weevils as we get into flooded rice.
Please feel free to call with any questions.