By AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Harvest has gained momentum in the coastal rice belt of Louisiana and Texas. See Dustin Harrell's early yield reports from southwest Louisiana.
With so much heat and sunlight, people assumed that the coastal crop would finish early, but that's not how it seems to be working out, says Michael Fruge, Horizon Ag's district field rep in the coastal belt. "We are slightly later than we were last year," Fruge reported in the company's newsletter on Thursday. "On our farm, we started harvesting 10 days later in 2018 compared to 2017." He added that early yield reports he's heard were favorable "and I think we have some of the better rice still in the field."
A bit more draining has started in the Midsouth.
The Midsouth crop still seems to be running ahead of schedule. That could mean harvest will crank up in the Missouri Bootheel in August, which doesn't happen often.
Rice stink bug numbers are declining in Arkansas where later fields are now heading. Stink bugs are still around but aren't at threshold in most cases.
LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS
Ashley Peters, Peters Crop Consulting, Crowville, Louisiana:
"The majority of the rice I work is headed or is heading and some is starting to turn. We might begin draining next week in the very earliest rice, maybe in 10 days (from 7/24).
"We applied a fungicide for smut on most everything and are keeping stink bugs out. They haven't been too bad, except in pockets, but then you can go to other places and barely find them."
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:
"Yield reports for southwest Louisiana rice have started coming in and they look very encouraging. Across both hybrids and varieties, the field average is around 47 barrels/acre for these early returns. They probably range from 36 to 58, with the bulk somewhere in the mid-40s.
"A lot of growers still haven't harvested their first fields (as of 7/26), but I expect harvest to be in full swing by this time next week."