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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - April 22, 2022
“I just turned and walked away, I had nothing left to say, ‘cause you’re still the
If you don’t have anything nice to say, you can sit next to me. The mid-week rain
brought even more than we bargained for, eliminating most all chances of planting
anything before the next forecast rain chance. Sunday night through Monday night
look tough yet again. If conditions open after that, a good run can take us a long
way in planting progress. However, our most similar recent years (2013, 2014, 2019,
2020) never did allow a huge wide-open run. Some other years have allowed 30-40%
jumps in just a week, but it would be unique if we were allowed that this year.
Where we actually stand now, as of Monday 4/18, is just 9% planted. That number may
be slightly higher in the upcoming 4/25 report, but it will change very little. On
Monday (4/25) the report will be for Week 16 of the year. Looking back in time, if
we are around or just over 10% planted, the next closest year for that low in Week
16 is 2008 at 16%, 1997 at 19%, and 1993 at 6%. That means we’re currently looking
at the slowest planting progress since 1993. Since 2008 we’ve never been below 23%
planted at this point in the season.
So, again, nothing nice to say. Remaining hopeful we can head into May on a planting
Table 1. U.S. Rice Planting Progress, 2022.
Looking at planting progress, most everyone has a lot of rice left to plant. With
more rain in the immediate forecast, the last few days of April may be our first chance
to really get going. So, as we stare at moving into May, it’s time to talk about
performance by planting date.
Figures 1 and 2 show the percent of optimal grain yield for selected cultivars across a range of
planting dates in 2020-2021 at Stuttgart (Rice Research & Extension Center) and Colt
(Pine Tree Research Station). Figures 3 and 4 show the same data but instead grouped into categories of long-grain (LG) varieties,
medium-grain (MG) varieties, and LG hybrids. These groupings help to show more general
trends that are often the topic of conversation.
Picking the right cultivar is the first step as we get later, but also timely management
becomes more critical. A rapid accumulation of DD50 units (heat) means we have fewer
days to accomplish management tasks, and risk of yield loss increases if we aren’t
Fig. 1. Percent of optimum grain yield by planting date for selected cultivars from
small-plot planting date studies at Stuttgart, AR.
Fig. 2. Percent of optimum grain yield by planting date for selected cultivars from
small-plot planting date studies at Colt, AR.
Fig. 3. Percent of optimum grain yield by planting date for long-grain (LG) varieties,
medium-grain (MG) varieties, and LG hybrids from small-plot planting date studies
at Stuttgart, AR.
Fig. 4. Percent of optimum grain yield by planting date for long-grain (LG) varieties,
medium-grain (MG) varieties, and LG hybrids from small-plot planting date studies
at Colt, AR.
Rain, rain, go away, come again another day! Our wet conditions continue to bog down
our rice progress so far in 2022, and with that hinder our weed control efforts as
well. Not only have burndown applications been challenging to make sure we can still
get appropriate coverage, low temperatures and dodging showers within rainfast periods
has been a struggle to maximize our chemical effectiveness. In addition, because
of the excess of water, we are now running into issues with applying our residual
For the majority of our residual herbicide products, it is against the label to apply
the chemical into standing water. But outside of just label requirements, it is best
practice to avoid spraying these herbicides in standing water or even fully saturated
soils for 3 additional reasons: 1. Environmental stewardship, 2. Reductions in herbicide
effectiveness, and 3. Increases in rice injury potential.
Most of our herbicides are water soluble, and as such, readily move with water flow.
This can lead to downstream contamination of sensitive areas when any of our standing
water may try to move off our fields. Additionally, other off-target movement potential
such as volatility, may increase in these areas of saturation.
Saturated conditions will also decrease the performance of many of our residual herbicides.
Weed control may be reduced due to movement of the herbicide outside of our treated
area or the dilution effect. As an example, a warning of this potential is even provided
directly on the Prowl H2O label: “If soil is saturated at the time of application,
allow the soil surface to dry before restoring the permanent flood. Prowl H2O requires
alternate wetting/drying cycles to be activated. Weed control will be reduced if
the soil surface is not allowed to dry out before restoration of the permanent flood.”
Conversely, some herbicides may have extreme enhanced activity, resulting in severe
crop injury potential. For example, from the Bolero herbicide label dealing with
water-seeded rice (which with our heavy saturated conditions is partially comparable):
“If rain should occur after soil preparation, Bolero 8 EC Herbicide should not be
applied until the soil is dry enough to support tillage operations… Rice in areas
which do not completely drain when the seeding flood is removed may be injured or
Overall, having fully saturated conditions or standing water is not a good time to
be applying our residual herbicides. Especially with current weather forecasts indicating
we may be receiving even more rain in the very near future, prolonging the length
of time of these saturated conditions exist.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And as always, good
luck out there.
It has been an interesting week for the September contract. The week’s 96-cent trading
range was captured in Tuesday’s wild session, which included a new contract high of
$17 and a low trade of $16.04. From a chart perspective, Tuesday’s trading range
gave the impression of a market top. However, the September contract has managed
to negate this idea with a higher close both Wednesday and Thursday. In Thursday’s
Export Sales reporting, long-grain rough rice sales reached an 8-week high last week of 32,656
tons. Nearly all of that was a single sale to Mexico.
Of interest, the $17 mark is the highest trade for the September contract since October
CBOT September Rice Futures, 15-Year Monthly Continuation.
Fundamentally, the new crop contracts are supported by the slow planting progress
in the Midsouth. As of April 17, Arkansas was just 9% planted compared to the 5-year
average of 34%. Mississippi was 11% planted and Missouri was 1% planted. Normally,
the two states would have 20 to 30% planted at this point. Little, if any, field
work occurred this week. More rain chances are in the outlook for Sunday and Monday.
A huge question mark hangs over Midsouth rice acres, especially when looking at all
angles: the planting delays, diesel futures trading near $4, soybeans above $15.
You have to be an optimist and consider the potential the rice market holds.
Over the last three weeks, New Orleans (NOLA) barge prices for urea have been trending
lower. The nitrogen market is trying to determine if this late surge in corn prices
will buy back some acres. The weather is interfering though as the key “I” states
had zero corn planted as of Monday. Following the March 31 planting intentions, new
crop corn has rallied over 90 cents. FYI. Most of Arkansas reaches the corn prevent
plant date on Monday, April 25th.
Fertilizer Prices, U.S. Gulf ($/ton).
Sources: Argus, Fertecon CRU, ICIS, Green Markets, Mosaic.
The DD50 Rice Management Program is live and ready for fields to be enrolled for the
2022 season. All log-in and producer information has been retained from the 2021
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.
Rice Extension Agronomist
Extension Weed Scientist
Rice Verification Coordinator
Extension Soil Fertility
Extension Rice Pathologist