Rice seedlings

Options for better control of resistant weeds in rice

Crop and trait rotation options available in Arkansas can make resistance management relatively easy if farmers will get outside our normal thinking somewhat and be proactive.

If you can get planted, rain is making herbicide activation easy. Make every effort to keep “sprayed up” on everything planted.

More folks are getting into overlapping a pre-emergence and a delayed pre-emergence treatment in rice. You will not be disappointed. There have already been a few cases where I have changed, for example, a Prowl plus Facet delayed pre-emergence treatment to a RiceBeaux combination treatment of some sort because of emerged grass.

On planted rice, as the season moves into the early postemergence phase, a number of combinations can be successful. On very small grasses it is easy to get three to four different modes of action with a treatment like RiceBeaux plus Clearpath in Clearfield rice or RiceBeaux plus Prowl plus Facet in conventional rice. For the past several years, the early postemergence “go-to” treatment in a lot of situations has been Ricestar HT plus Facet plus Permit Plus or Halomax.

(UA weed control guide: click to open)
(UA weed control guide: click to open)

In later-planted situations where you are still looking at delayed pre-emergence treatments, don’t overlook Bolero. I have been told the supply has been increased for this year. Bolero is like Prowl in the sense that I rarely recommend it alone. However, Bolero in combination with Facet or another quinclorac product, Prowl or Command or clomazone is an excellent delayed pre-emergence treatment.

Bolero plus Facet, for example, is better in heavy barnyardgrass infestations, is a better sprangletop herbicide, and has good aquatic activity compared to Prowl plus Facet. Both Bolero and Prowl add herbicide modes of action for which we have no documented resistance right now.

With the crop and trait rotation options we have in Arkansas, we can make resistance management relatively easy if we will just get outside our normal thinking somewhat. Just in a rice and soybean rotation we have the option of rotating conventional rice with Roundup Ready or conventional soybeans with Clearfield rice with LibertyLink soybeans. As corn and milo are added to that mix, the opportunities are even greater.

Too many growers are waiting until these options are forced upon them instead of implementing them proactively. I have told the story about the Arkansas farmer who said to me at a meeting several years ago that he had never seen a pigweed on the farm until the past year and he found them in four fields. He went on to tell me that he planned to plant corn the coming year, then rice, then LibertyLink soybeans, then corn, then rice again before he went back to Roundup Ready soybeans. I was impressed, but asked him a question I was afraid I already knew the answer to. I asked if he was going to implement that program on his entire 6,000 acres. His response was “No, I only have the problem in four fields.”

He is an excellent farmer. However, like all of us he is a creature of habit and as long as things are working well he doesn’t have a problem. We must move past that and manage every field like it has a weed resistance problem already in it. We have some new technologies coming, but I do not believe they will replace the need for proactive thinking. While resistance issues are greater in the South right now, farmers in Arkansas have more tools than the farmers in the Midwest if we will just utilize them wisely.

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