Grass weeds get head start in many Arkansas rice fields

Judging from the telephone calls and also from some of the field visits I have made, we are going to have some big grass to kill in some not so big rice. When the freeze hit, the grass handled it much better than the rice.

In a lot of situations, there was the question of whether or not the rice stand would survive, so no herbicides were applied.

In other situations the rice just looked so sick the grower or consultant was afraid to apply any herbicides.

The end result is a lot of fields with two- to three-leaf rice and tillering barnyardgrass and broadleaf signalgrass.

Some options I consider in these situations are Ricestar HT, Ricestar HT plus Facet or Quinstar, and Super Wham plus Facet or Quinstar.

Anytime I am dealing with big barnyardgrass or signalgrass, I try to get some Facet or Quinstar in the program. If the problem is barnyardgrass and it is tillering, the rate needs to be 0.33 pound per acre or higher in the mixtures.

In some situations where the rice was still sick from the cold weather, I switched from Super Wham to Duet to be easier on the rice. Both the Ricestar HT and propanil mixtures with Facet or Quinstar have been excellent.

I often base my choice between the two programs on other weeds in the mix.

The keys to control with these treatments are having good moisture at application and getting some moisture behind the Facet or Quinstar for activation.

In situations where Facet or Quinstar can not be used, the 24-ounce rate of Ricestar HT will control some pretty big grass if there is excellent soil moisture at the time of application.

It is a good all-around treatment for barnyardgrass, broadleaf signalgrass and sprangletop.

Regiment can also fit in situations where the grass is only barnyardgrass, especially where broadleaf weeds such as smartweed may also be present. The new adjuvant recommendations for Regiment have helped that herbicide.

The disadvantage for Regiment is it does not control sprangletop or broadleaf signalgrass and the grasses usually occur in a complex.

In Clearfield rice, if the situation with big grass is similar to the one described above, consider Clearpath on the first application. The Facet will help the Newpath out considerably on the bigger grass.

All I can do in an article is paint with a broad brush. Different situations require different treatments, and there are a lot of different situations. The main thing is it is time to get the fields cleaned up now.

My philosophy of weed control is do whatever you have to in order to have nothing in the field but rice when you go to flood. Feel free to call if I can help.

On another note, this is another year to “throw the book out the window.” I do not like winging it, but most have never been through a situation like we have with the freeze and so many of the crops emerged.

I and some other consultants and university guys have talked some farmers into keeping some stands of rice that they were less than enthusiastic about. We now have to try to clean those up. That will be hard enough.

I would remind everyone again that these fields of sick rice with thin stands can not stand any glyphosate or Newpath drift. Rice is a crop with an amazing ability to overcome adversity. I am confident that a lot of these fields that growers are worried about will do just fine if they do not get hammered with a drift.

Please be careful and communicate with your neighbors. Remember glyphosate this year has a 10 mph wind restriction on it.

I will close with a word of encouragement from a mentor, former rice specialist Bobby Huey, who told me more than once, “Ford, a thin stand of rice will fool you every time!”

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