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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - May 21, 2021
“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”
This week’s weather turned out to be much ado about nothing. It wasn’t a complete
miss, but compared to what we expected to happen, it was a welcome letdown. The only
real problem with not getting much of the rain, was that many management decisions
were made trying to work around it. Now we’re picking up some of the pieces of those
decisions this week.
Drift complaints have been on the increase, and there’s not much discussion to have
other than to say “stop spraying in 20 mph winds.”
Monday’s report had us at 87% planted for the state (Fig. 1). The push at the end of last week has that about right and with the opportunities
we’re being afforded this week and through the weekend we should be at 95% planted
by Monday. Then it’s all over but the shouting.
These few late opportunities likely assured us of reaching 1 million acres in the
state, though not necessarily by much. The high end of my expectation is 1.1 million
acres total. Very tough guessing game this year with the weather bouncing folks between
crops and having to change crop plans on the fly based on what fields we can get into.
Now, we’re looking at the potential of a warm, dry run that will have us looking for
a rain again before too long to activate more residual herbicides, wind permitting
that we get them applied.
Fig. 1. AR Rice Planting Progress, 2010-2021.
Fig. 2. NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.
Don’t call it a heat wave. Conditions are finally working up to where we should be
for late May and it’s time for rice to kick it into gear. If you haven’t re-run your
DD50 reports in a while I suggest you do, as the prolonged cool conditions have had
rice progressing more slowly than the program would’ve predicted based on long-term
weather averages. Now that we’re warming up, these dates will come up faster, but
given that some rice is already hitting these predicted dates, it’s time to roll.
The first comment from many is that rice short. The cool, wet, cloudy weather has
stacked the nodes on a lot of rice and it just hasn’t gained much height. At some
point we will have to do a little dance with this rice in order to fertilize and flood
on time and not lose yield potential.
For rice that is reaching the end of the nitrogen timing window, and is still short
for your liking, it may be time to go with a bump flood or a baby flood to get it
kicked off. Get a shallow flood across the field and by the time you’ve made it the
rice will be taking off and you can pump the field up.
Zero grade or extremely shallow sloped fields can go to flood earlier on small rice.
Just be sure to maintain a shallow initial flood to not stretch the rice and allow
for optimal tillering potential. Steeper contour levee fields may have to push the
back end of the window to strike a balance between fertilizer timing and flood depth
versus plant height.
Remember that it’s perfectly alright to go out to the final N timing. You have a
little time to get it flooded after the date, but we don’t want to press that too
far. For fields that take longer to flood we need to get started on the early side,
use multiple inlet irrigation, and maybe even get some help from a rain to stay on
Table 1. Final recommended date to incorporate preflood nitrogen for selected cultivars
based on emergence date in Arkansas County.
Table 2. Final recommended date to incorporate preflood nitrogen for selected cultivars
based on emergence date in Poinsett County.
There were good reasons for rice futures to trade higher this week, but none could
outweigh the drag over in the soybean, wheat and many other commodity markets. River
traffic resumed on the Mississippi River. The US Dollar traded to 3-month lows this
week. Thursday’s Export Sales results were decent at least for rough rice. All price supportive. Focusing on
exports for the week ending May 13, long-grain rough rice sales hit a four-week high
of 58,900 MT. Nearly all of the total was to Mexico and Venezuela. After a month-long
absence, last week’s sale of 28,500 MT to Venezuela brings their YTD purchases to
271,083 MT; nearly all of which has been shipped. Long-grain rough rice sales to
Venezuela are up 396% over last year making them the second largest export market
for the U.S. behind Mexico. Overall, rough rice sales are up 12% compared to last
year. The first new crop rough rice sale showed up in last week’s USDA reporting
(749 tons to Guatemala). Weekly long-grain milled rice sales were the highest since
February 4 at 19,940 MT; 15,200 of that was to Haiti.
The daily chart below provides a year-to-date look at the September 2021 contract.
The September contract traded to low of $11.58 last December. The recent high was
$14.21 made on May 5th. After reaching overbought territory, trading is finding technical support at the
40-day moving average (red line) at $13.44/cwt.
CBOT September 2021 Rough Rice Futures, Daily Chart.
Cash Market: Bids / Basis
New crop rice basis was steady this week at 16 to 23 cents per bushel under September
futures. Fall delivery (Aug. – Oct.) bids at driers / local elevators were in the
$5.84 to $5.91 per bushel range as of Thursday’s close. Basis at mills was 9 cents
under September futures with bids near $5.98 per bushel.
U.S. rice planting progress rose from 74% to 87% complete as of May 16; ahead of the
5-year average of 81% and last year’s 79 percent. Arkansas’ planting progress advanced
10 points in a shortened week to 87% complete. Planting for the state is ahead of
last year’s pace (75%) and slightly ahead of the 5-year average (84%) for the week.
Week-to-week changes in planting progress this year have been a function of weather,
the calendar, and market prices for a range of competing commodities. The current
weather outlook for the upcoming week should provide an opportunity to wrap up rice
Rice: Percent Planted as of May 16.
NASS estimated Arkansas crop emergence at 68% compared to 56% last year and the 5-year
average of 72 percent. The state’s rice crop was rated at 74% good-to-excellent.
The U.S. rice crop overall is rated 74% good to excellent compared to 63% last year
at this time.
The crop insurance Final Planting Date for rice in Arkansas is May 25th. The Late Planting Period extends 15 days after the Final Planting Date. For insured
acres planted during the Late Planting Period, the production guarantee for each acre
will be reduced by one percent for each day planted after the Final Planting Date
through the fifteenth day. The Late Planting Period ends June 9th for rice in Arkansas.
Check out these podcast episodes by following the link or by listening to them on
Arkansas Row Crops Radio wherever you listen to podcasts.
Weeds AR Wild, Ep. 12: Expectations for Loyant Coated on Urea (5-20-21)
The DD50 Rice Management Program is live and ready for fields to be enrolled for the
2021 season. All log-in and producer information has been retained from the 2020
season, so if you used the program last year you can log in just as you did last year.
Log in and enroll fields here: https://dd50.uada.edu.
The Arkansas Rice Advisor site https://riceadvisor.uada.edu functions like an app on your mobile device. There you can readily access the DD50
program, rice seeding rate calculator, drill calibration, fertilizer and N rate calculators,
publications, and more.
Arkansas Rice Updates are published periodically to provide timely information and
recommendations for rice production in Arkansas. If you would like to be added to
this email list, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information will also be posted to the Arkansas Row Crops blog (http://www.arkansas-crops.com/) where additional information from Extension specialists can be found.
More information on rice production, including access to all publications and reports,
can be found at http://www.uaex.uada.edu/rice.
We sincerely appreciate the support for this publication provided by the rice farmers
of Arkansas and administered by the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.
The authors greatly appreciate the feedback and contributions of all growers, county
agents, consultants, and rice industry stakeholders.