By AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Harvest has started in the Midsouth on a limited basis, although rains this week put work on hold in Arkansas in a large part of Arkansas. More rice in the region is being drained.
Rains also have delayed progress in portions of the coastal belt in Louisiana and Texas.
More yield reports are filtering in from southwest Louisiana.
LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS
Harold Lambert, Independent Consultant, Innis, Louisiana:
"All of my rice this year is behind crawfish. A couple of fields were planted early and headed early, and only a small amount of those acres justified a rice stink bug spray. It was kind of a trap-crop situation, but even then, the numbers weren't heavy.
"Overall, though, almost none of our rice has required a stink bug treatment yet. Our later rice is just slipping out of the boot."
Hank Jones, C&J Ag Consulting, Pioneer, Louisiana:
"We're draining a bunch of rice, and the crop looks pretty good. We are seeing a little rice going down where we had a good bit of grass escapes and red rice. Some of that may go down a little more before harvest.
"Stink bugs range from almost nonexistent to steady populations, with lingering thresholds even where we sprayed. We're contending with wash off, too, where products went on and a popup shower followed. That's always frustrating.
"It looks like a pretty good rice crop and I'm excited about that. I imagine that someone may try to cut a hybrid field in 10 days but I think we're mostly 14 days (as of 8/7) from seeing combines running."
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:
"We're a little over 35% finished with the main crop harvest in southwest Louisiana, although progress this week has been very slow. Spotty showers have been developing nearly every day, and we don't see much of a break in the short run.
"The forecast ranges from a 40% to 80% chance of rain over the next 5 days (from 8/9) and then 20% to 60% chances for several days beyond that.
"Unfortunately, some of these storms have included wind. We have a pretty good crop out there, which means it's top-heavy, and some rice in the region has gone down. In terms of any effects on quality or yields, we need to get that rice out before it's been down too long. The last thing we want is for any sprouting or shattering to develop.
"Yields have been doing really well. A lot of hybrids are in the 60s (barrels/acre) and a good many of the varieties are in the 50s. Where we have lower-yielding fields, we can pretty much identify problems that contributed to the decline. It might be increased weed pressure, sheath blight or bacterial panicle blight. But in general, the yields have been great, really outstanding.
"Provisia rice has been a nice surprise, too. Most averages are in the low to mid 40s. One field even averaged into the low 50s. For Provisia, that is a very respectable. I told growers at meetings that 45 barrels an acre was about the maximum we might expect with Provisia this year and that any production issues would reduce the yield from there. But yields are holding up well, and in several cases, fields have exceeded that 45-barrel mark. That's aside from the Provisia system ridding us of out-crossings and red rice issues."