Early Arkansas rice yields down 10-15 percent

Early Arkansas rice yields down 10-15 percent

Harvest weather may be just about perfect for the 2015 Arkansas rice crop, but the results leave a lot to be desired, says Jarrod Hardke, rice Extension agronomist.

“There continue to be bright spots, but there seem to be just as many dim ones. The southern half of Arkansas seems fairly set on an average yield likely to come in around 10 to 15 percent below previous years. There is still rice to be cut, so maybe later rice will be above expectations.

“As for northern Arkansas, early reports are not great. The sample size is small, but a number of the fields harvested so far report similar yield issues to the southern half of the state. However, some areas are reporting good to very good yields,” says Hardke.

“According to DD50 enrollment, over 90 percent of Arkansas fields have reached harvest moisture (20 percent). The weather for the next 10 days looks excellent for harvest and if the dew will lighten up many will make tremendous progress.”

Hardke says a few farmers have made some mistakes in the last couple of weeks with harvest aids. Farmers should not apply harvest aids “when rice moisture is above 25 percent or below 18 percent. Above 25 percent you may stop some kernels from finishing out and below 18 percent you will cause moisture to fall out too fast and shattering will begin to occur.

“On a somewhat related note — if applying harvest aids to fields adjacent to rice, be very careful,” says Hardke. “Questions about glyphosate as a harvest aid on grain sorghum near rice — best bet is to consider rice only completely safe when it’s in the combine.”

For more updates from Hardke on the current Arkansas rice crop including the current effects of weather and how to calculate harvest loss, download Arkansas Rice Update 9-5-15.

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