Farmers hear about upcoming rice harvest at field days

Schultz Bruce, Linscombe, Steven D.

News Release Distributed 07/05/13

FENTON, La. – The rice harvest in south Louisiana, delayed by a couple of weeks, should begin soon. And it’s not too early for farmers to decide if they will grow a second crop, an LSU AgCenter agronomist advised at two field days Tuesday (July 2).

At field days at Fenton and Lake Arthur, Dustin Harrell said that Aug. 15 is the recommended first-crop harvest cut-off date for growing a second crop. After then, farmers run the risk of cold weather that could ruin a crop.

Nitrogen loss after a fertilizer application for a second crop is not as much of a problem as the first crop because the established root system can quickly absorb the fertilizer if a field is flushed, he said.

Stubble management can improve second crop yield, Harrell said. “In most years, an 8-inch remaining height is best.”

Mowing stubble down to 8 inches seems to boost yields by about five barrels per acre, he said, but rolling stubble also has potential for an increase. Cutting or rolling stubble forces panicles to develop from the first node on the plant, resulting in a more uniform crop.

Harrell said a fungicide is of little benefit for a ratoon crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting that farmers should be able to get roughly $24 a barrel for long-grain rice, or $14 a hundredweight, according to LSU AgCenter economist Mike Salassi. Medium-grain rice is expected to sell for $26 a barrel, or $16 per hundredweight.

“It looks like rice prices are going to stay steady at $24-25 a barrel,” Salassi said at the Vermilion Parish field day.

A large Asian supply has dropped worldwide prices, Salassi said.

The U.S. rice crop at 2.47 million acres could be the smallest since 1987, he said. Arkansas farmers planted 230,000 fewer acres of rice, and Mississippi’s estimated 160,000 acres could be over-counted by as much as 60,000 acres, he said.

Louisiana has roughly 400,000 acres, in line with an average year, he said.

LSU AgCenter rice specialist Johnny Saichuk said at the Fenton field day that the past few days of cool temperatures have been ideal for rice. “Anything flowering now has got great weather.”

Saichuk said stink bugs are being found in large numbers. Sheath blight disease is not bad, but some bacterial panicle blight is beginning to show up, he said.

AgCenter entomologist Mike Stout said at the Fenton event that the Mexican rice borer continues to migrate eastward closer to Acadia Parish. He said the new Rice Scout smartphone app developed by the AgCenter has good photographs to identify the pest.

AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth said fungicide-resistant sheath blight that started in the Mowata area of Acadia Parish continues to expand its range. “Eventually it’s going to move into other areas,” he said.

Groth said he is considering recommending that most rice farmers consider including the fungicide Sercadis in their disease-treatment regimen next year in anticipation that the fungicide-resistant sheath blight spreads further. The rate change for a maximum single application of 6.8 ounces per acre seems to have improved the effectiveness, although the maximum amount for a crop remains at 9 ounces.

AgCenter weed scientist Eric Webster said the new BASF herbicide Sharpen can be tank mixed with Newpath and Beyond to control small flatsedge, joint vetch, sesbania and small grasses. But Webster warned the product tends to injure rice slightly, especially if applied when soil is wet.

AgCenter rice breeder Steve Linscombe said a Clearfield Jazzman line was harvested Monday (July 1) at the winter nursery in Puerto Rico.

He later said seed was planted Wednesday (July 3) on three acres at the AgCenter Rice Research Station in Crowley for a seed increase. “This is the first time we’ve ever had foundation seed planted in July.”

Linscombe said at the earliest, a Clearfield Jazzman variety could be released for limited seed production next year.

Work continues on a replacement for CL261, and the line LA2065 shows promise, with the Kellogg Co. interested in it, he said. He also has two strong candidate Clearfield long-grain lines. “We’re probably going to look at one of these two lines for a seed increase in Puerto Rico.”

Linscombe said he is continuing to emphasize reduced chalk in his breeding program.

AgCenter soybean specialist Ron Levy said the kudzu bug was found last week in two commercial soybean fields in north Louisiana, and Asian soybean rust was detected in two sentinel plots in central Louisiana.

Levy said the kudzu bug, found earlier this year near Vicksburg, Miss., is not likely to be a major pest for Louisiana soybeans because farmers are already spraying for stink bugs. Also, Louisiana does not have widespread areas of kudzu, which provides winter and spring habitat for the insect.

Levy said it’s no surprise, because of cooler weather, that rust was found on soybeans.

Herbicide-resistant pigweed and johnsongrass are causing farmers to look at Liberty Link soybeans more, he said.

Bruce Schultz

7/5/2013 6:59:08 PM
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