South Louisiana and Texas
Harvest is in full swing in south Louisiana and, unfortunately, it has not made the year any better. I went back and looked at my field reports from last year, and on September 4, 2018, I started talking about rain in south Louisiana. It seems like I have not stopped since then. We have had a few dry spells here and there but, for the most part, we have been wet since that time last year. Since harvest began, we are now facing afternoon “pop-up” thunderstorms with heavy rainfall.
In addition to dealing with wet harvest conditions, yields are off substantially, maybe as much as 15%. Reduced yields are occurring on all varieties and hybrids. Reports of average and above-average yields have been few and far between. This makes for a long year, and many farmers are very frustrated right now. Some of the rice I have seen from combines looks good, but the trucks just don’t leave the field as rapidly as they normally do. There are a lot of blank grains this year. I do not know the exact reason, but I would have to say it is a combination of several factors.
Texas is just starting to get their harvest kicked off. I have said several times this year that farmers west of Houston have told me they have a really good-looking rice crop. However, the very few yields that I have heard about so far sounds like the Texas yields will be down this year as well. I don’t think they will be off quite as much as the Louisiana yields. I will have a lot more information from the Texas crop in our next field report.
As harvest progresses and you have questions about ratoon crop management, please do not hesitate to call. Good luck to all the farmers out there. Be careful and stay safe!
Mississippi and North Louisiana
The earliest-planted portions of the crop in my area are approaching the finish line. I’ve seen multiple fields being drained and have talked to a number of farmers who are draining or plan on draining some this week. There are still some fungicide/insecticide applications to be made on some of the later- planted rice but, as a whole, it seems to be coming along well and rather quickly.
Other than the calls about draining, it’s been pretty quiet around my area. I have heard of a couple instances of blast showing up in susceptible varieties, but nothing widespread. As we get closer to bean harvest in my area, please be mindful of the negative effects soybean desiccant drift can have on your rice crop even after it has been drained up to the point of harvest. If you have any questions or if I can help in any way, please feel free to call.