UACES Facebook Arkansas Rice Update 5-12-23
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Arkansas Rice Update 5-12-23

by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - May 12, 2023

Arkansas Rice Update 2023-08

May 12, 2023

Jarrod Hardke and Tommy Butts

“Just rain down over me, just let it rain down, let it rain down.”


A Much-Needed Rain

Most of our rice-growing area received welcome rains the past two days.  The suddenly dry conditions we’ve been concerned with over the past week should be mostly resolved now, of course with an eye toward drying out so we can take the next step forward in progress.

Opinions will vary up and down the state, as the southeast area received rainfall last week that stopped some of their progress while much of the rest of the state was developing dry, crusting conditions.  The recent rains were variable as usual with anywhere from a half inch to 2 inches.  While that may have been a little more than some were bargaining for, it will hopefully set us up for positive gains.

After a warm weekend, temperatures are expected to fall back into the lower 80s, but the lows should remain in the 60s meaning crop progress will still remain positive.  The forecast is pretty variable for next week at this point, so there’s not a guarantee that things will clear up again quickly.

Some replanting of rice fields occurred this past week.  Fortunately, most of the conversations I had over the past week were stands possibly weak, but still at a level that we would want to keep and avoid a replant situation.  Flushing was also happening on a limited basis early in the week which had those fields really taking off.  And the earliest fields have even been pushed to flood.

With more rice squeezed in over the past week we should be north of 90% planted at this time.  I feel like our overall acreage outlook continues to be around/over 1.3 million but less than 1.4 million acres.  Recent market shifts do appear to have the potential to cause some further shift in acres still not planted – that is rice prices are starting to look even more attractive compared to soybean, but those will come down to individual scenarios and planting date opportunities.

Let us know if we can help.

Fig. 1.  NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.

 NOAA 7 day precipitation forecast


Table 1. U.S. Rice Planting Progress as of May 7, 2023 (USDA-NASS).


Week Ending

May 7, 2022

Week Ending

April 30, 2023

Week Ending

May 7, 2023







































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

2012-2023 Arkansas rice planting progress by week

Fig. 3.  Dry conditions were reaching out to grab much of our rice this past week (h/t Andrew Jackson).

Dry conditions affecting rice

Fig. 4. Some rice fields received a much needed flush.

Rice field being flushed

Fig. 5.  A few rice fields even went to permanent flood.

Rice field going to permanent flood


In case you missed it, see the AR Row Crops Blog from earlier this week:

Defoliators: Cutworms and Armyworms in Small Rice


New on Arkansas Row Crops Radio this week:

Weeds AR Wild Series, S3 Ep8:  Rice Weed Control Discussion with Dr. Connor Webster


Replant Decisions

Jarrod Hardke

As mentioned earlier, there have been some replants made and other replant discussions continue.  Since we’re in a rain delay, now is the time to evaluate plant stands and formulate a plan to keep or punt on existing stands.

We develop seeding rate recommendations on new cultivars each year, which can help guide us not only to optimal seeding rates but can also give us insight into what happens with lower than optimal stands.  Typically, the plant stands are well within “keepable” range for the seeding rates evaluated.

Several years ago (2017-2018) we looked at LaKast and XP753 for suboptimal stand densities to give us a better understanding of what really low stands will give us.

Fig. 6 shows LaKast at various stand densities and supports the recommendation to keep a variety if the average plant stand is 5 plants/ft2 or greater.  Fig. 7 shows similar data for XP753 and supports the recommendation to keep a hybrid if the average plant stand is 3 plants/ft2 or greater.

Walking these trials each year, the sporadic and variable stands seemed representative of what is often encountered when walking commercial fields with stand issues.  But certainly every field and situation is unique.  Fields with a large range of stands, and if they include areas with a lot of 0s for stand, are going to be more difficult to gauge and depend on.

But there’s more to determining a replant than stand alone.  The date of replanting is a major factor.  As a general rule, mid-April planting dates produce 10% higher yields than mid-May planting dates.  This is certainly not always true, but the trend is true over years of data.  The idea here is that with a replant that produces an optimal stand (no guarantee), you may only make the same yield you would have in keeping the suboptimal stand you have now (assuming 5 plants for variety and 3 plants for hybrid).  Then add in the costs associated with replanting and it becomes a lot easier to keep the existing stand if it’s in range of these recommendations.

The other consideration is of course to change crops entirely, usually to soybean.  What is the yield potential for this field for soybean and would you be better or worse off swapping to beans at that planting date with expected yield and price?  These are questions that have to be answered by individual operations.

Fig. 6.  Percent of optimum grain yield for LaKast at suboptimal stand densities across 5 site-years in 2017-2018.

Percent of optimum grain yield for LaKast at suboptimal stand densities across 5 site-years in 2017-2018

Fig. 7.  Percent of optimum grain yield for XP753 at suboptimal stand densities across 5 sites-years in 2017-2018.

Percent of optimum grain yield for XP753 at suboptimal stand densities across 5 sites-years in 2017-2018


Plan Ahead on Herbicide Applications

Jarrod Hardke and Tommy Butts

The good news is that we have a lot of our crops planted.  The bad news is that we have a lot of our crops planted – at the same time.  Traditionally our different crops end up staggered in planting order.  This has allowed us to make multiple safe herbicide applications to one crop without risk to an adjacent crop.  This year, now that everything is really starting to take off, we have rice, corn, and soybean emerged all around each other, and things are going to get tight.

For rice, plan well ahead of events so that wind speeds and directions can be worked around by applicators.  It may be that more fields have to be sprayed split over different applications or days depending on the wind.  The same is also true for our other crops.  It’s a crazy year, let’s help each other out where we can!

We need the weed control – but we need healthy crops first for the weed control to be meaningful.



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