Start clean, stay clean key to row rice success

Historically, farmers historically have flooded their rice fields for weed control, especially for red rice, which is a distant cousin to the commercial rice producers grow in the southern U.S. and West Coast.

So if you don’t flood those fields in the conventional sense, weed control becomes even more important, according to farmers and rice specialists who have been working on a new concept involving furrow-irrigated or row rice.

Dr. Steve Crawford, a professor emeritus and retired LSU AgCenter weed scientist who now works as a private consultant, says growers cannot let the weeds get ahead of them in furrow-irrigated rice.

“You have to start clean stay clean, and you must use overlapping residuals,” he says. Dr. Crawford, who spent a number of years at the Northeast Louisiana Research and Extension Center at St. Joseph, was one of several speakers at a Row Rice meeting in Rayville, La.

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