UACES Facebook Arkansas Rice Update 4-14-23
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Arkansas Rice Update 4-14-23

by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - April 14, 2023

Arkansas Rice Update 2023-04

April 14, 2023

Jarrod Hardke, Nick Bateman, and Ben Thrash

“Seems I’ve got to have a change of scene.”


Looking for a Rain Already?

Well that certainly took a dramatic turn.  The weather over this week has been ideal for most across the state.  Some have been in the have not category where more rain was received last week and just drying out, but the majority have had their foot on the gas.

Those with better fall weather for ground preparation are out in front on planting progress as expected.  Those unable to get ahead in the fall have been going double time this week working ground and moving into planting.

Given how warm and breezy this week has been, it shouldn’t come as a shock that areas with the most progress are now actually in need of rain.  The perfect storm in spring planting season is to get a small rain each week so we can get planting in rapidly while maintaining good soil moisture to hopefully avoid the dreaded flush.

The forecast rain on Saturday will be the first welcome rainfall event of the year for many, and it has some worried about upcoming progress if we miss it.  The reality is there are fields out there with rice trying to emerge that need a rain or will need to be flushed, even though it’s mid-April…  What a difference a year makes.

Let us know if we can help.

Fig. 1.  NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.

NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast


We were estimated to be at 12% planted to start the week, but I’ll be surprised if progress hasn’t reached 30-40% in the upcoming report on Monday.  The number could be even higher than that but there is also still a lot of corn and early soybean planting going on at the same time.

Table 1. U.S. Rice Planting Progress as of April 9, 2023 (USDA-NASS).


Week Ending

April 9, 2022

Week Ending

April 2, 2023

Week Ending

April 9, 2023












































Fig. 2.  2012-2023 Arkansas rice planting progress by week (USDA-NASS).

2012-2023 Arkansas Rice Planting Progress


Armyworms in Small Rice

Nick Bateman and Ben Thrash

While we haven’t officially gotten a call yet on armyworms in rice, we are getting several about them in wheat.  For the most part the numbers observed in wheat have been low.  We wanted to make everyone aware that there are a few armyworms around, and that you may see them in rice in the coming weeks.  Fields next to wheat will be the most susceptible.

As far as recommendations go, we generally don’t recommend treating small rice for defoliation.  We have done several years of work on this, and just do not see a yield loss from defoliation occurring prior to tillering (Fig. 3).  In a lot of cases, we see a minor yield increase.  With that said, there are always exceptions to thresholds.  If armyworms can feed on the growing point due to soil cracking, then an application should be considered.  This typically will only occur on heavy clay soils.

For insecticide options, if you are in a situation where you need to spray, we would suggest sticking to lambda-cyhalothrin products (Warrior II, Lambda-Cy, etc.).  Everyone may remember the control issues from 2021, but those were fall armyworms.  What we are currently seeing are true armyworms, where we would still expect to achieve 90% or greater control with lambda.  If you have Dermacor or Fortenza as a seed treatment, then they should protect the rice with no issues.

Fig. 3.  Yield compared to the untreated control for multiple defoliation levels and growth stages for April planted rice.

Yield by defoliation level and rice growth stage for April planted rice



DD50 Rice Management Program is Live

The DD50 Rice Management Program is live and ready for fields to be enrolled for the 2023 season.  All log-in and producer information has been retained from the 2022 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:


Use the Arkansas Rice Advisor Internet App!

The Arkansas Rice Advisor site 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.


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.




Phone Number


Jarrod Hardke

Rice Extension Agronomist


Tom Barber

Extension Weed Scientist


Nick Bateman

Extension Entomologist


Tommy Butts

Extension Weed Scientist


Ralph Mazzanti

Rice Verification Coordinator


Camila Nicolli

Extension Rice Pathologist


Trent Roberts

Extension Soil Fertility