UACES Facebook Arkansas Rice Update 3-3-21
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Arkansas Rice Update 3-3-21

by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - March 3, 2021

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Arkansas Rice Update 2021-01

March 3, 2021

Dr. Jarrod Hardke, Dr. Nick Bateman, Dr. Gus Lorenz, Dr. Ben Thrash, and Scott Stiles


"If you find good fortune, pass it on to someone else.  Pass it on."


2021 Rice Acreage Intentions

Jarrod Hardke

Acreage intention surveys for 2021 are currently ongoing, with the Prospective Plantings report due March 31.  At this point, since I get this question daily this time of year, I’ll share my thoughts on where it looks like we might be headed based on what we know, and don’t know, right now.

Figure 1 shows the harvested rice acreage for Arkansas from 2000-2020.  As has been the trend for some time, 2021 as an odd numbered year will see a decrease in rice acres.  The record rice prevented planting in 2019 was followed by the second most prevented planting in 2020, even though we saw a 25% increase in acres.  Just how high could we have gone in 2020 if weather permitted an early spring planting window?

Fig. 1. Arkansas rice acreage, 2000-2020.

AR Rice Acreage 2000-2020

Certainly, soybean and corn prices have moved those commodities way up into the conversation in terms of competing with rice on the net return side of things.  Table 2 provides a generalized outlook for several commodities based on approximate fall cash prices.  Break-even yields are shown at 75% crop share at listed prices and costs.  A lot depends on actual costs for your given operation, but it presents an interesting picture for the yields needed to achieve success (profit) in 2021.

Table 1.  2021 Crop Break-Even Comparison.

Crop Break-Even Comparison

It’s realistic to point toward at least a 10% reduction in acreage for 2021, which would put us around 1.3 million acres.  The complications of how much further it may fall, or not, center around continued price support for competing commodities and what happens with ground that was forced to take prevented planting for two years.

It’s entirely possible that we see a reduction in acres back to near 1.1 million acres as we did in 2013, 2017, and 2019.  However, a favorable April planting window would likely ensure that we exceed those levels.  Add in an opportunity to plant ground that has been laid out for multiple years, and somewhere between 1.1 and 1.3 million acres seems our most likely acreage window, as of right now.


When to Use Combinations of Insecticide Seed Treatments in Rice

Nick Bateman, Gus Lorenz, and Ben Thrash

Over the past 5 years we have talked a lot about combinations of insecticide seed treatments and the benefits of combining different seed treatments for control of grape colaspis and rice water weevil.  We have been comparing combinations of a neonicotinoid seed treatment (CruiserMaxx or NipsIt Inside) with a diamide seed treatment (Dermacor X-100 or Fortenza) for multiple years now.

In our studies when we compare the neonicotinoid seed treatments CruiserMaxx Rice and NipsIt Inside we have observed very little difference in efficacy between the two products.  In other words, they both perform equally well.  Particularly on grape colaspis.  They also provide control of rice water weevil, but neither provide as great of control as Dermacor or Fortenza.  In contrast, Dermacor does not provide adequate control of grape colaspis.  Another thing to remember is that CruiserMaxx Rice and NipsIt Inside protect rice for about 28-35 days.  Dermacor on the other hand, provides protection 60-70 days after planting or more, with similar results observed for Fortenza.

With combinations of one of the neonics and one of the diamide seed treatments we consistently see an increase in control of rice water weevil and as a result we see better yields compared to a neonic alone (Table 2).  We have seen some increased control when combining CruiserMaxx and NipsIt, but it is less consistent than combinations including a diamide seed treatment.

The question we have been asked a lot recently is: Do I need this combination on every acre?  The short answer is no, but its dependent on multiple factors.  Planting date and soil texture are the two biggest factors is making this decision.

For rice planted in April, that is more likely to sit in the ground longer and take longer to get to flood, the addition of one of the diamide seed treatments will help tremendously with rice water weevil control.  In this planting window there is a much higher likelihood of the neonic seed treatments running out of gas before the flood is applied, which will lead to a reduced control for rice water weevil.  For rice planted in May, a neonic seed treatment will typically suffice.  At this point rice is usually coming out of the ground quickly and we can manage to get to flood within the 28-35 day window that the neonics last.

Soil texture is another major factor to consider when making seed treatment choices.  Soil texture will dictate whether or not grape colaspis will be a concern.  Grape colaspis do not occur in heavy clay soil, which is typical rice ground in large portions of Northeast and Southeast Arkansas.  In these areas a diamide seed treatment for April plantings, or neonic seed treatment for May plantings should suffice.  Grape colaspis is very likely to be found in our finer, loamier soils throughout the Grand Prairie and White River regions, so regardless of planting date we have to have one of the neonic seed treatments on our seed to protect it.

The bottom line is we need seed treatments in rice to stay profitable, and while it may cost more money (Table 3), combinations of insecticide seed treatments will pay for themselves in early planted rice.  We can still see benefits in later planted rice from the combinations, but in most cases they are not needed.  Commodity prices are not great right now, so we need to be mindful of how we spend our money and be sure to put these combinations of insecticide seed treatments where they belong.

Table 2. Diamide and neonicotinoid  insecticide seed treatment combinations performance.

Rice IST Combos


Table 3. Estimated cost of insecticide seed treatments per acre for hybrid and conventional rice.

Rice IST Cost per Acre


Projected Price Loss Coverage Payment Rates for 2020

Scott Stiles

The information below includes the latest projected Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payment rates for the 2020 marketing year as of February 2021.

The expected PLC payments for the 2020 marketing year are listed in Table 4.  PLC payments are triggered when the Marketing Year Average Price (MYA Price) is less than a commodities’ effective Reference Price. The 2020/21 MYA Prices for all crops shown are USDA’s projected prices as of February 2021. These prices are subject to change.

The PLC payment rate equals the difference between the Reference Price and the higher of the MYA Price or the Loan Rate.

Of the crops listed in the table below, wheat, peanuts, seed cotton, long-grain rice and medium-grain rice are projected to have a PLC payment for the 2020 marketing year.

Table 4. Expected PLC Payment Rates for 2020 Marketing Year - as of February 2021.

Table 1. Expected PLC Payment Rates for 2020 Marketing Year - as of February 2021

As a reminder, the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) payments will have a sequestration percentage applied to the payment rate.  In recent years the sequestration reduction has been in the range of 6.2 to 6.6 percent.  County Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices should be able to provide more details on payment sequestration percentages.

Projected PLC payment rates are updated monthly on the USDA Farm Service Agencies’ ARC/PLC website at this link: ARC/PLC Program Data


2021 Rice Management Guide

Jarrod Hardke

The 2021 Rice Management Guide contains the most requested production recommendations for rice in a single, easy-to-reference PDF.  This information will also be posted to the Extension rice page (

2021 Rice Management Guide


Additional Information

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

This information will also be posted to the Arkansas Row Crops blog ( 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


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.

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