By AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
Harvest has nearly wrapped up in the coastal belt of Texas and southwest Louisiana. A shortage of storage capacity is still dragging out some harvest in Texas, and that's especially the case west of Houston where growers tend to have less on-farm storage.
Midsouth harvest has gained momentum. Heavy rains a couple of weeks ago shut down combining just about the time many people started running. But dry conditions returned and equipment began moving again. However, strong storms developed in the upper Midsouth as we finished our calls Thursday night.
Rice stink bugs continue to harass late rice fields in parts of the Midsouth. Billbug damage has been severe in some row rice.
Paraquat drift remains a concern in Mississippi as more growers begin desiccating soybeans while later rice might still be vulnerable.
LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS
Richard Griffing, Griffing Consulting, LLC, Monterey, Louisiana:
"Our row rice is turning out phenomenally well. I don't know of any yet that has averaged below 200 bu/acre and I've heard reports of up to 232.
"Getting into row rice has been an enjoyable experience for me and for a number of my growers. With close management, it's an easy and efficient way to grow rice. Going forward, I expect more row rice on graded land.
"People who you wouldn't call rice farmers are getting into this. One farming operation only started raising rice 3 years ago and decided to plant 350 acres of row rice this year. Next year, they say they might plant nearly 2,000 acres of it."
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:
"Rice harvest has mostly wrapped up in southwest Louisiana and we have a pretty good ratoon crop started. I don't expect this to turn into a record yield but it should be one of the higher averages we've had in Louisiana.
"In northeast Louisiana, harvest continues where growers can work between rains. That's stalling harvest a little. But yields up there have reportedly been good, which bodes well for our final statewide average.
"A lot still depends on how weather conditions work out with the ratoon crop this fall. Where anyone still plans to ratoon fields, this definitely is when you want to decrease nitrogen rates and definitely want to skip any stubble management. It's late enough now (8/30) that you don't want to do anything that would push maturity later and risk the crop being hit by frost."