Although planted and emerging many MidSouth rice fields are having to contend with heavy rains and cooler than normal temperatures

Mid-South rice this week: Nitrogen, diseases, slow plant development

At the start of the week, USDA estimated 98 percent of the U.S. rice crop had been planted, 87 percent had emerged and 66 percent of the crop was in good to excellent condition.

In the Mid-South states, planting ranged from 98 percent planted in Mississippi to 100 percent planted in Missouri, but weather — heavy rains and cooler than normal temperatures — continues to frustrate plant development and management schedules.

In northeast Arkansas last week, as much as 2 to 7 inches of rain fell in just a few hours. Jarrod Hardke, Arkansas rice Extension agronomist, says rice farmers there are asking two questions:

(1) I just put out my nitrogen and started to flood up. The rains washed my field out. How much N did I lose?

(2) I’m now getting late in the window to apply N and I got all this rain with more in the forecast. What do I do?

Read more on Hardke’s recommendations for Nitrogen Management and Rainfall.

As the season progresses, rice diseases will test Mid-South farmers. Tom Allen, Mississippi Extension plant pathologist, says most rice diseases occur at particular times of the year or at specific growth stages and that the previous crop is an important factor.

To help farmers he has provided a Mississippi Rice Disease Calendar for some of the more common diseases that indicates the likely period of infection generally required for symptoms to be expressed and the period when the diseases would continue to be problems.

Louisiana rice has struggled through less than ideal growing conditions, says Dustin Harrell, the state’s Extension rice specialist. In the most recent Louisiana Rice Notes he discusses mid- to late-season potassium deficiency, the South American Rice Miner and yield potential for late-planted rice.

A good way to follow developments in Louisiana rice is to subscribe to the LSU AgCenter’s text message group for rice. To join the rice group, send a text message to 81010 with @larice in the body of the message. To receive text messages by email, send an email to [email protected].

Later this month, Mid-South rice farmers will have the opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading rice geneticists, Susan McCouch of Cornell University. She’ll talk about the potential for advances in rice breeding as part of the June 29 LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station’s annual field day. Read more about McCouch and other speakers for the field day at Louisiana rice field day June 29 in Crowley.

And from Missouri is the story of a Missouri rice shipment to Cuba. Martin Rice Company of Bernie, Mo., shipped rice at no cost to the people of Cuba. “Cuba was once a leading export destination for Missouri rice and we believe the in-roads we’ve been making since our first visit here and meetings we’re now having with Cuban officials can help re-establish Cuba as a buyer of Missouri rice,” Mike Martin said.

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