AgFax Rice - Louisiana

OVERVIEW

More rice is going to flood. Several of our contacts say that they are pushing a portion of their rice to flood sooner than might be expected.

Cooler conditions have somewhat slowed plant growth over the last 10 days in parts of the Midsouth. See comments by Jarrod Hardke.

Heading has started in older rice in southwest Louisiana. After heavy rains last week, flooding also killed at least some rice in that part of the state. See comments by Dustin Harrell.


LOUISIANA CROP REPORTS

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

"We're going to flood with a fair amount of rice over the next 10 days and are trying to push rice as much as we can. In places, rice was starting to stress and drying out, plus tillering began a little earlier than we would like.

"We decided to go with what I'd term a flush flood or what people call a sloppy flood. Herbicides and fertilizer went out ahead of the flood. We'll let plants grow a little more and then establish the permanent flood. This wasn't an ideal approach but we had to do it out of necessity. 

On the other end of things, we actually planted some row rice last week that had to be flushed up. It's been difficult to time herbicide applications during all the hot, dry weather. In places, we flushed fields just to start weeds growing enough that herbicides would kill them. 

"In soybeans, we started finding low numbers of redbanded stink bugs south of Winnsboro last week. Redbanded tend to be tough in a year when you find them around here in the first 10 days of July, but this was within the first 10 days of June.

"I hesitate to make predictions about how bad they might be, but a colleague in the Ville Platte area said they're on the verge of spraying redbanded and that they're in every field. Oddly, I didn't find them to any extent on winter hosts but they're present now. With all the late planting, this could be an extended fight."

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

"After all the rain early in the month, most growers were able to get the water off fields in a timely manner but a few hundred acres were covered by backwater flooding from nearby bayous and creeks.

"Typically, that's dark water, which is a concern. It's not uncommon for rice to survive about 8 days when it's submerged in water, but that can vary, depending on whether the water is clear or dark or if it's cool or hot. In places, we obviously had the wrong combination.

"I've heard multiple reports this week of that flooded rice dying after only being submerged for a couple of days. The water in those cases was really dark and hot. A cool front has settled over the area in the last couple of days, and it's a nice reprieve from all the heat, but the damage in the flooded fields already had been done. 

"Our earliest planted rice has started heading. Most is at mid boot, so we should think about fungicides. If you want to control smut – false smut or black kernel smut – propiconazole needs to be applied at mid-boot, around a 6-inch panicle length. If the boot has already split and the panicle is emerging, it's too late. After all the rain, things have dried out, and that will help reduce sheath blight and leaf blast activity. Plenty of soybeans are being replanted this week, all because of that rain."