Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Guiding communities and regions toward vibrant and sustainable futures.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
Getting the 411 on 4-H.
Volunteer with 4-H
Learn to build a better team.
Check out our upcoming events.
Animals, ATVs, robotics, and more!
What else do you need to know? Check it out.
Learn about our camp opportunities.
Hands-on activities in an outdoor setting.
Subscribe to Post Updates from Arkansas Row Crops
Sign Up for Newsletter Updates
Subscribe to SMS Updates from Arkansas Row Crops
Listen to Our Latest Crops Podcast
Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - April 7, 2023
“I hear the train a’comin’, it’s rolling round the bend.”
Yet another wild week of spring weather. Jimmy Buffett could just as well have been
singing about those in agriculture when he wrote the line “if we weren’t all crazy
we’d all go insane.” We’re just into April and things have already been interesting
enough to last us all of spring.
Do my eyes deceive me or is the precipitation forecast (Fig. 1) clear over Arkansas? It has been many moons since we’ve seen a forecast like that.
Some may get a crack at things starting on Sunday in the northeast, but Monday will
be a bigger moving day. Central and southeast areas will see Monday as the earliest
day and may track further into the week.
The past two days have been cloudy and cool since Wednesday’s rain, so while the wind
has started some drying we’re really waiting on warmer temperatures and sun over the
weekend to see just how quickly things can dry out. As we put our foot on the gas,
be mindful about where you’re planting what. Last year we got a little ahead of ourselves
during some planting windows and boxed some of our technologies in, planted too soon
behind certain burndown herbicides, or in fields that would have carryover issues
from the previous year. Work your plan and avoid costly mistakes. A coach used to
tell us all the time growing up, “do it right, do it light, do it wrong, do it long!”
Let us know if we can help.
Fig. 1. NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.
Fig. 2. Rice has already emerged in central Arkansas.
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: https://dd50.uada.edu.
The Mid-South keeps trying to get going if the weather will move out of the way.
As of Monday, 4/3, Arkansas was in line with the 5-year average planting progress.
In the upcoming report on 4/10, progress should climb to 10-15%. The northern part
of the state missed some of the rains over the past week, so there’s a wide range
of planting progress in different areas from 50% complete to less than 10%. Meanwhile
the central and southern portions of the state have received more rain leading to
much lower progress, virtually zero in some areas, but pockets have had a little better
Table 1. U.S. Rice Planting Progress as of April 2, 2023 (USDA-NASS).
Fig. 3. 2012-2023 Arkansas rice planting progress by week (USDA-NASS).
Optimum timing for phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and zinc (Zn) fertilizer application
all depends on your needs and your soil test values. Spring applications, prior to
or at planting, always seem to be most favorable. This is especially true if you
have low soil test values and need higher rates of P and Zn. But let’s talk details.
We’re going to focus on spring applications since it’s spring, but let’s get the fall
application topic out of the way. Why do we lean away from fall-applied P and K?
Well, it has to do with loss and availability the next season. For fall applications
we’re worried about P being tied up and not as available in the spring when the rice
needs it; and we’re worried about K being lost via leaching and runoff and not available
in the spring when the rice needs it. The further in front of the crop that we place
nutrients, the more likely they are to be lost or converted to compounds that are
less plant available. The closer to plant demand that we can place nutrients, the
more efficient they will be used and the larger the return on that investment.
So back to spring applications – when is the best time to apply? Let’s go nutrient
If soil tests call for P, it needs to go out prior to or at planting and incorporated
whenever possible. Most of our common P fertilizers (TSP, MAP, and DAP) are water
soluble and immediately plant available but it really comes down to how accessible
they are to the plant for uptake. Phosphorus is relatively immobile in the soil so
surface applications and applications made in-season require more time to come in
contact with the plant roots and be taken up. Applying P later into the season reduces
the likelihood that we’ll get all the P accessible for plant uptake that we need and
this can be problematic on soils that test very low in P.
If soil tests call for Zn, it needs to go out as a granular zinc sulfate prior to
or at planting and incorporated whenever possible. Similar to P, Zn is immobile in
the soil and surface applications of granular Zn have limited mobility in the soil
and will not be accessible for plant uptake until much later in the season. If corrective
applications must be made during the season, we’re forced to rely on chelated liquid
formulations (Zn EDTA) that are just as expensive as the granular form, but these
liquid apps only address the deficiency and do not increase soil test levels. Chelated
liquid Zn formulations are needed for early season Zn applications when the canopy
coverage is low because they increase the mobility of Zn in the soil allowing both
foliar uptake as well as root uptake.
If your soil test calls for K, you have a lot of freedom in the spring in terms of
application timing. You can apply the K from prior to planting, up to planting, even
up to preflood. Because K fertilizer is very soluble and relatively mobile in the
soil (compared to P), we can easily apply it during the season dropping it into the
flood if we need to.
Follow the timing of the fertilizer that has the strictest requirement. Always consider
how hard a deficiency will be to correct in-season. For instance, Zn deficiency is
very hard to correct in-season so being proactive will pay major dividends. Phosphorus
is the next hardest nutrient to manage, so apply early and incorporate if you can,
but also know that we can be successful with in-season applications if needed and
deficiency is caught early. There is a large window of opportunity to apply K and
effectively maximize yield so the flexibility with application timing is high. If
you need P or Zn, then whatever mix you need to run should go out early and incorporated
whenever possible. If you only need K, then you can run it just about anytime, including
with your preflood urea if that works for you.
Another note: There still seems to be a lot of blending of sulfur fertilizers either
with the mixed fertilizer or with preflood urea. The vast majority of our soils do
not need any sulfur additions to maximize rice yield, so this is not the best use
of our money. There are sandier fields, and even clay fields with exposed sand veins
or sandy areas, that do need sulfur added, but these are still rare overall. Be smart
about how and where you use sulfur to optimize your return on investment.
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 Rice Pathologist
Extension Soil Fertility