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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - March 31, 2023
“I ain’t askin’ for a miracle, just a little bit of luck will do.”
Turning the corner into April, everyone has the itch to get rice in the ground. Fortunately,
drier and breezier conditions over the past week made that possible for some folks.
Though the majority were taking advantage of the first window in a long time to focus
on tillage and getting fields ready for planting.
It doesn’t look too promising that next week will deliver a big jump in progress as
the weather pattern looks unsettled at this point. Here’s what we know so far about
next week’s weather:
It is definitely still early, but it has felt like everyone is ready for an earlier
start to a year this season. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen one of those
early start years, so maybe our luck will change soon. While it’s good to squeeze
in some planting here and there and make progress, it’s important to note that from
an overall perspective our average yields for the past several years have been very
good. Essentially the planting windows that nature has given us have turned out to
be very good for rice.
On a separate note, hopefully everyone made it through Friday’s storms safely. Areas
of Little Rock and Wynne suffered severe damage, but it will still be days before
we know the full extent of damage in those and other areas. Check on your friends
Fig. 1. NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.
Weeds AR Wild Series, S3 Ep2: Inversions
Weeds AR Wild Series, S3 Ep3: 2023 Rice Weed Control
From a total acreage (Table 1) perspective there don’t seem to be any surprises in the report. 1.3 million total
for Arkansas has been the target for a while, and at least at the time of this survey
in early March, nothing much has changed. In general, all states other than Texas
show acreage increases in line with early expectations. Texas will see acreage lowered
due to water limitations in 2023.
Table 2 shows long-grain acreage intentions while Table 3 shows medium-grain. For long-grain, a 14% increase in Arkansas appears as though
it will carry a 155,000 acre long-grain increase for the U.S. April planting conditions
will typically dictate how much of those acres end up planted.
For medium-grain, an Arkansas increase was expected, though 160,000 acres is lower
than what some estimates suggest is possible. California’s increase in acreage was
expected as they have seen major improvement in their water situation.
Table 1. U.S. Rice Planted Acreage, 2022 and March 2023 Prospective Plantings.
Source: USDA NASS.
Table 2. U.S. Long-Grain Planted Acreage, 2022 and March 2023 Prospective Plantings.
Table 3. U.S. Medium-Grain Planted Acreage, 2022 and March 2023 Prospective Plantings.
Due to the increased demand for medium-grain rice and a shortage of certified, medium-grain
rice seed, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will consider
allowing rice mills to gift commercial grain of Titan and Lynx to Arkansas rice producers
as planting seed provided the seed meets specific requirements.
Titan and Lynx are medium grain rice varieties developed by the Arkansas Rice Breeding
Program with funding from the Arkansas Rice Check-off Program. Titan and Lynx have
intellectual property protections prohibiting their sale as non-certified seeds. Other
medium-grain rice varieties are not included in this agreement because the Division
of Agriculture does not own them.
Rice Mills needing Titan or Lynx planting seed to help their contract growers should
contact John Carlin, director of the Arkansas Crop Variety Improvement Program (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details. Stipulations of the one-time, case-by-case agreement include, but are
not limited to:
The agreement applies only to Titan and Lynx
Commercial grain will be held to similar standards as certified seed to ensure the
planting seed is of high quality.
Gifted grain must be planted in Arkansas.
The grain must have been bought at grain prices.
The seed must be gifted (not sold) to contract growers.
The gifter must buy the resulting crop planted from the gifted seed.
The gifter must enter into an agreement with the Division of Agriculture.
This action is intended to help millers fill and retain medium-grain rice contracts.
Rice millers with such need are encouraged to contact Carlin at the earliest possible
time since seed for quality testing must follow a set protocol from sampling through
testing and may require two or more weeks to complete.
The Division of Agriculture’s Variety Testing Program provides unbiased information about the adaptability and performance of varieties
in Arkansas’ diverse environments, thereby allowing producers to make informed decisions.
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 email@example.com.
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.
Rice Extension Agronomist
Extension Weed Scientist
Rice Verification Coordinator
Extension Rice Pathologist
Extension Soil Fertility