The windows of progress have been short and sporadic this spring but largely in our favor: Plant, spray, rain, repeat. We’ve been fortunate to get nearly 90 percent of our rice crop planted before May, a rare occurrence.
The more impressive part is the optimum and even above optimum stand counts we’re seeing from all this early planted rice. While we normally have to deal with managing below optimum stands on a lot of early-planted rice we’re actually set up to maximize yield from the jump -- a great turn of events for 2016.
The few negatives are the start of some development of seedling disease impacting stands in a limited number of fields. Fortunately the optimum stands already achieved are keeping stand loss from being too severe.
We talked a little about drift complaints coming up last week. There’s reason to believe that we could battle drift on rice even more this year than in previous years. A lot of early planted rice means that we could be hitting midseason (reproductive stage) rice about the time a lot of POST applications in soybean are being made. Drift from glyphosate any time after midseason can have devastating effects on rice yields and it doesn’t become apparent until rice starts to head. When it comes time, there doesn’t need to be any glyphosate going out by air with rice around.
There have been plenty of issues this past week: seedling disease showing up, washed out levees in need of repair, flooded out fields, and dried out fields crusting over needing to be flushed. Rainfall in the forecast for next week will be good for some and terrible for others – you could say just another week in Arkansas rice production.