AgFax Rice - Louisiana

By AgFax Media LLC,


Rain continues to create problems. Yet again, planting has ground to a halt in much of the Midsouth and areas in southeastern Texas. With the last round of heavy rains, fields went under water in parts of southwest Louisiana.

The earliest fields in the Midsouth are moving towards flood, although that remains a minor part of the expected crop.

Green rings are turning up on more south Louisiana rice.


Hank Jones, C&J Ag Consulting, Pioneer, Louisiana:

"Rice is at a standstill. The rain, which started late last week and went into the weekend, dumped 3 to 6 inches across this area, so we're trying to get water off fields.

"A good north wind is blowing today (5/13), with plenty of sunshine, so things are at least moving back to normal. I imagine we'll get herbicides and fertilizer out this week where we can and start moving to a flood on our earliest fields.

"You tend to think of rice crops as having a uniform age, more or less, but this crop is in all stages – one field is at fourth leaf, the next one has a single leaf, some hasn't emerged, some hasn't been planted. We usually have a crop well on its way in mid-May, but this one is only 60% to 70% planted. Some rivers are rising again and backing out in spots."

Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley:

"We're dealing with a few scenarios with rice this week in southwest Louisiana. With some fields, growers were able to apply fertilizer on dry ground and flood up those fields at a good time without any issues. That rice looks really nice.

"On the other hand, a lot of growers have had excess water on many of their fields. Some tried to use the expected rain to get to flood a little earlier but part of that rice went under water for a short time. So, plants are stretched out and struggling. It looks kind of ugly but a lot of that rice simply needs nitrogen and good growing conditions.

"Growers finally have taken the water off or have lowered it, so the rice has a chance to recover. In certain cases, growers will pull all the water off and then apply nitrogen on dry ground. Others are lowering the water and will spoon feed the N. We've had limited days with good growing conditions but that rice should turn around as the weather improves.

"More reports are coming in about rice hitting green ring, so we want to make sure enough nitrogen goes out on those fields.

"In northeast Louisiana, a lot of fields still have water on them from the last big rain and it's moving off slowly. More rain is expected there this weekend, so I don't know when or if those acres will finally be planted. The prevented planting date up there is May 25, I think, so it's quickly approaching.

"Some of those fields are close to rivers and bayous and tend to be clay soils, so it could take two weeks with no rain before anyone could start planting in those locations. With all that, we may end up with fewer rice acres this year in our northern parishes."