UACES Facebook Arkansas Rice Update 5-28-21
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Arkansas Rice Update 5-28-21

by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - May 28, 2021

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Arkansas Rice Update 2021-11

May 28, 2021

Jarrod Hardke and Scott Stiles

“It’s those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, nothing remains quite the same.”

Good Rain


Wait, Rain is Good?

Jarrod Hardke

Despite how wet the spring has been overall, the high winds of the past two weeks have made quick work of any rain that did fall.  Believe it or not many were in need of a rain this week and received it last night / this morning.  Most received somewhere around 1” of rainfall but some locations saw 2-3”.  All in all, most were happy with it so I guess we’ll call this “the first welcome rain of 2021.”

Since we reported 93% of our acres planted as of Monday (Fig. 1), this will be the last week we’ll have to discuss that topic.  Still more rice was planted this week given the dry conditions, but it remains to be seen if much more will continue from here, especially with more rains forecast for next week.

The upcoming forecast is for cool, wet, and overcast conditions.  That means the rice may slow down its progress once again.  Be careful with management decisions while rice is slowing down and not growing normally.  Warmer temperatures will be the key to moving this crop along, and not additional inputs.  Also make sure you re-run your DD50 reports if you haven’t in a while.  They indicate that rice is a few days behind in progress compared to the long-term weather averages, meaning you likely have more time to get to some management strategies.  That’s more time to get things done the right way.

Fig. 1.  AR Rice Planting Progress, 2010-2021.

2021 AR Rice Planting Progress


Save the Dates!

RREC Rice Field Day

On Friday, August 6, 2021, the Rice Research & Extension Center near Stuttgart will return to hosting its live, in-person, Rice Field Day!  More details will follow, but it will follow a traditional format of morning field tours followed by lunch.

Rice College

On Thursday, August 12, 2021, we will host the 2021 Rice College at the Pine Tree Research Station near Colt, AR.  This training event, hosted every other year, will be at Pine Tree for the first time.  This will be an all-day training event for rice growers, consultants, and industry personnel.  Pre-registration will be required, along with a fee of $100 per attendee.  Additional details and registration information will be sent out as the event nears.  Space will be limited, so be sure to register quickly when you see future announcements!


Questions on FullPage ‘Brand’ Rice

Jarrod Hardke

There is limited availability of two FullPage hybrids this year that we have received questions on.  These are referred to as ‘FullPage Hybrid Brand 1’ and ‘FullPage Hybrid Brand 2’.  The main thing we want to note is that these two hybrids need to be planted at slightly higher seeding rates compared to standard recommendations for products such as RT 7321 FP and RT 7521 FP.  For the two ‘Brand’ products, use a 500,000 seed per acre (11.5 seed/ft2) rate as your baseline instead of the traditional 450,000 seed per acre (10.3 seed/ft2) rate.  Increase seeding rates from there as usual based on soil type and planting conditions.  In addition to this, please note that Hybrid Brand 1 will have a limited percentage of plants that may exhibit injury from Preface.


Furrow-Irrigated Rice Nitrogen Recommendations

Jarrod Hardke

Nitrogen (N) management in furrow-irrigated rice (FIR), or row rice, systems has been evaluated over the past several growing seasons.  Currently, multiple options appear favorable depending on soil texture and field management considerations.  Below is some general guidance on N management strategies that have proven to be the most effective in trials conducted over the past several years.  Keep in mind the recommendations below are derived from work on hybrid rice.  When you see “preflood rate” we mean the rate you would normally apply prior to flood if you were flooding the field.  In most instances, based on our recommendations, that would be 120 lb N/acre on silt loam soils and 150 lb N/acre on clay soils.  It’s also important to note this work is conducted based on rotation with soybean.  If rotation differs, consult the 2021 Rice Management Guide (page 15) for adjusting the preflood N rate these recommendations are based on.

For silt loam soils, several N management strategies have appeared viable.

  • Option 1: Starting at the 5-leaf stage, apply 3 applications of 46 lb N/acre (100 lb urea/acre) spaced 7-10 days apart.
    • For example:
      • Day 0 – 46 lb N/acre
      • Day 7 – 46 lb N/acre
      • Day 14 – 46 lb N/acre
  • Option 2: Apply half the recommended preflood N rate at the 5-leaf stage, followed by 2 additional applications of one quarter of the preflood N rate spaced 7-10 days apart.
    • For example:
      • Day 0 – 60 lb N/acre
      • Day 7 – 30 lb N/acre
      • Day 14 – 30 lb N/acre
  • Option 3: An excessive preflood N rate (150% of standard) has produced optimal yields, but greater risk involved than split methods.

For clay soils, a single N management strategy has stood out:

  • Apply half the recommended preflood N rate at the 5-leaf stage, followed by half 10-14 days later, followed by an additional 46 lb N/acre (100 lb urea/acre) 7 days after the 2nd
    • For example:
      • Day 0 – 75 lb N/acre
      • Day 10-14 – 75 lb N/acre
      • Day 21 – 46 lb N/acre

For pureline varieties, at this time it is recommended to follow the approach of 4 applications of 46 lb N/acre (100 lb urea/acre) spaced 7-10 days apart beginning at the 5-leaf stage.  We hope to conduct future work to better identify optimal N management strategies for pureline varieties in FIR systems.

These strategies focus on early-season N management.  For hybrids, we still recommend the 30 lb N/acre (65 lb urea/acre) application at late boot in addition the early season N strategies discussed above.  For pureline varieties, the 4th application of 46 lb N/acre will coincide with the midseason timing and no additional applications should be needed.


Rice Market Update

Scott Stiles

In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, the grain markets will have a regular close at 1:20 p.m. Friday, but there will be no trade Sunday night or Monday.  Trade will resume at 7:00 p.m. on Monday evening. USDA reports will be delayed by a day next week due to the holiday.

Futures Prices

The rice market seemed to find some support this week on declining crop conditions and ideas planted acres may be less than projected two months ago.  In Monday’s Crop Progress, NASS lowered the percentage of the crop rated good-to-excellent in Louisiana, Texas, California, and Mississippi.  The U.S. crop rating overall slipped 3 points from the previous week to 71% good-to-excellent.  Of particular interest, the Louisiana crop was downgraded to 45% good-to-excellent and Texas 53% good-to-excellent. It is early in the growing season and nearly impossible to predict crop performance at this stage.  However, these low ratings for the southernmost rice production areas illustrate how excessive rain, cloudy conditions, and cooler temperatures have impacted the crop thus far.

Louisiana and Texas have struggled to get the last 5% or so of their intended rice acres planted.  NASS reported some areas in those states received 10.0 to 20.0 inches of rain last week.  Weekly (May 16-22) rainfall totaled 17.32 inches in Lake Charles, LA. and 14.60 inches in Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX.  Not surprising, there were many reports of blown out levees and rebuilding underway.

This is likely the last week traders will give much attention to the planting progress numbers.  Arkansas’ rice planting reached 93% complete as of May 23; ahead of last year’s pace (84%) and slightly ahead of the 5-year average (90%) for the week.  U.S. planting overall was 95% complete; ahead of the 5-year average of 90% and last year’s 88 percent.

Rice: Percent Planted as of May 23.

US Rice Planting Progress

New crop rice futures have been under pressure since the May 12 USDA supply/demand report.  Recall it did include the first supply/demand projections for the 2021 crop and long-grain ending stocks came in at 32.1 million cwt.—heavy.  With production based on 2.078 million planted acres of long-grain, fuel for higher prices has been lacking.  As seems customary, we find ourselves waiting for better information; in this case, the June 30 Acreage report.

CBOT September 2021 Rough Rice Futures, Daily Chart.

CBOT Sept 2021 Rough Rice Futures

With planting delays and new crop soybean prices trading over $14 at times in May, private expectations are for rice acres to come in below March intentions.  Thus, the burning question becomes “how much lower?”.  We can only speculate for now as we will not have a tradable acreage number until June 30th, when the NASS Acreage report is released.  With the trade biased toward lower acreage and production, it will be difficult for the market to trade much lower at this point.

Cash Market: Bids / Basis

New crop rice basis remained firm this week at 16 to 23 cents per bushel under September futures.  Fall delivery (Aug. – Oct.) bids at driers / local elevators were in the $5.83 to $5.90 per bushel range as of Thursday’s close.  Basis at mills was 9 cents under September futures with bids near $5.97 per bushel.

Fertilizer prices:

Gulf urea prices turned higher over the last two weeks.  This may be linked to ideas corn acreage is climbing.  With planting now past 90% complete, private analysts expect final acres to be 2 to 5 million above USDA’s March Prospective Plantings survey.  Most estimates are in the range of 93 to 94 million vs USDA’s 91.1 million acres.  In March, Gulf barge prices for urea traded as high as $400/ton, levels last seen in April 2014.  For the week ending May 21, Gulf urea prices averaged $373/ton.  Compared to a year ago, barge prices for urea are $167/ton or 81% higher.

Urea US Gulf


Row Crops Radio Podcasts

Check out these podcast episodes by following the link or by listening to them on Arkansas Row Crops Radio wherever you listen to podcasts.

Weeds AR Wild, Ep. 13:  Problems Observed So Far & Remedies (5-26-21)


DD50 Rice Management Program is Live

The DD50 Rice Management Program is live and ready for fields to be enrolled for the 2021 season.  All log-in and producer information has been retained from the 2020 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.


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