UACES Facebook Arkansas Rice Update 5-6-22
skip to main content

Arkansas Rice Update 5-6-22

by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - May 6, 2022

Arkansas Rice Update 2022-07

May 6, 2022

Jarrod Hardke and Scott Stiles

“Roll on down the road just let it roll.”

Saddle the Horses

Jarrod Hardke

This week has been a mixed bag depending on where you were in the state.  Monday night and Tuesday morning much of the state received rains to stop progress, but certain areas didn’t really have to check up.  Additional statewide rains on Thursday (5/5) will put everyone a few days out from rolling again.  So, while we reached 40% planted as of 5/2, it looks as though we’re probably now around the 50% planted mark.  Even at that, we’re still tracking with our recent slowest years of progress such as 2013, 2019, and 2020.

The upcoming week easily has the best forecast we’ve seen all year.  At this point, it looks like at least a week of sunny days with temperatures in the 90s.  In fact, we may run into looking for a rain again before long with that much sun and heat coming our way.  If we do get 7-10 days of dry weather to run, we’ll likely knock out most of the remaining rice acres to be planted.

One concern that will be upcoming is that so much rice that has been planted has emerged or will be emerging now, and it will be more difficult to get remaining fields off to a clean start.  Meaning that fields remaining to be planted may still need burndown herbicide applications and may be in close proximity to emerged rice.  Be prepared to make difficult decisions for burndown where you may have to make the burndown application prior to planting and separate from your application of residual herbicides after planting.  Simply utilizing tillage prior to planting often does not give the desired result and flips large weeds under only to let them reestablish and come back to cause problems.

Kick the tires and light the fires – let’s get to business this week!


New on Arkansas Row Crops Radio this week:

Weeds AR Wild Series, S2 Ep 12:  Wet and Rainy Weed Control


Fig. 1.  NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.

NOAA 7 day precipitation forecast

Fig. 2.  Arkansas Rice Planting Progress, 2010-2022.

AR Rice Planting Progress 2010-2022


Hail Damage to Young Rice

Jarrod Hardke

There was reported hail damage to seedling rice this week, and since we’ve had a number of hailstorms already this spring, it’s a good time to address the issue.  The good news is that for seedling rice, particularly 5-leaf (V5) or younger rice, it just looks ugly.  In past studies performing simulated hail damage and in more recent studies looking at defoliation in general, there isn’t a yield loss associated with even complete defoliation at these stages.  Within two weeks you’ll be amazed at the number of tillers those plants will have produced to recover from the injury.

The biggest concern is a delay in maturity associated with the time it takes for the plant to regrow.  Depending on conditions there may not be much delay at all but could be as much as a week delay in heading.  A fertilizer application of AMS or DAP may help encourage speeding up some growth, but not until the rice has recovered, and by that time you may be ready to take it to flood.  I’m not advocating for the fertilizer application – we’ve observed yields to be equal between plants with no damage and those with 100% defoliation at seedling stages, often with little difference in maturity.  I say keep the fertilizer application in your pocket and let the rice do its thing.

Fig. 3.  Hail damage to seedling rice.

Hail damage to seedling rice

Fig. 4.  Percent rice grain yield at various rice growth stages with simulated levels of defoliation (h/t Nick Bateman).

Rice grain yield at various growth stages with defoliation

Fig. 5.  Delay in heading at various rice growth stages with simulated levels of defoliation (h/t Nick Bateman).

Delay in rice heading at various growth stages with defoliation


Slow Planting Years and Late Planted Rice

Jarrod Hardke

Slow planting progress isn’t what it once was.  In the last decade we’ve had a number of years with slower planting progress, compared with the handful in the 30 years prior (Figure 1).  Interestingly, the slow progress in recent years hasn’t resulted in the same yield reductions as those in the past.

This is all to say that later planting of rice still has its problems, but we’ve still been able to achieve excellent yields.  The next week will certainly be extremely important for trying to complete as much rice planting as possible.  Figure 2 shows the grain yield performance by planting date of fields enrolled in the Rice Research Verification Program since 2010.  It indicates what most of the small research data has told us, and that is we have until around the middle of May to still make excellent rice yields.

Having said that – every operation is different, make the best decision for your operation in terms of planting rice versus an alternative given your situation.

Fig. 6.  Arkansas state average grain yield by year, with a yellow arrow noting years with slowest planting progress.

AR state average grain yield denoting slow planting progress years

Fig. 7.  Grain yield performance by planting date of fields enrolled in the Rice Research Verification Program, 2010-2021.

RRVP Field Yields by Planting Date 2010-2021


Updated Numbers Game

Jarrod Hardke and Scott Stiles

Back on 4/15 we originally showed the comparison below in Table 5.  Some things have changed a little since then so it’s time for an updated look.  The table uses current UA System Division of Agriculture operating cost estimates, a lower estimate where some producers captured lower fertilizer and fuel prices, and a producer share of 75%.  This is a starting point, knowing that every operation has different input costs and rent structures.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that this is simply a snapshot – compare using your own estimated operating costs, rent structure, and expected yields. 

Table 1.  Estimated Returns and Break-even Yields at Selected Operating Cost Levels.


Operating Cost

Producer Share



Returns Over Operating Costs

Break-even Yield

Rice (Hybrid)







Rice (Hybrid)







Rice (Variety)







Rice (Variety)


















































As mentioned, individual farm returns will be highly influence by the timing of key input purchases, particularly fuel and fertilizer, rental terms, and commodity marketing decision.  We encourage producers to evaluate comparative crop returns using their historical yields, 2022 input costs, and other factors unique to their operation.

Updated 2022 Cost of Production Estimates can be found on the University of Arkansas’ Cooperative Extension Service website at this link: 2022 Crop Production Budgets.  Budgets for the major row crops are available for download in Microsoft Excel format.


Rice Market Update

Scott Stiles

Some remarkable headway in Monday’s Crop Progress and a favorable weather outlook offered resistance to rice futures this week.  Traders may also be stepping aside ahead of next week’s May 12th WASDE.  Note the initial 2022 balance sheets will include planted acres from the March 31 planting intentions, which still point to a bullish price outlook.

After making a new contract high at $17.51 ½ last Friday (April 29), the September contract turned lower this week.  Trading finished Thursday at $17.11 ½ , off the session low of $16.90.  New crop bids at east Arkansas mills on Thursday were $7.56 to $7.61/bu. for fall delivery.  Bids for first quarter 2023 delivery were $7.70/bu.

Last Friday’s trading had taken the September contract well into “overbought” territory (RSI: 80).  Trading this week could be considered a technical correction.  The daily and weekly charts remain in an up-trending channel.  If the weather outlook holds, significant planting progress in the Midsouth will pressure the market next week.  The findings in next Thursday’s WASDE will have longer term influence over price direction.

Fig. 8.  CBOT September 2022 Rice Futures, Daily Chart.

CBOT Sept 2022 Rice Futures Daily

Monday’s USDA Crop Progress had U.S. rice acreage at 45 percent planted as of May 1, up from 26 percent the prior week.  Arkansas and Mississippi made significant headway in the later part of last week.  Both states covered 26 percent of expected acres in a narrow 3 – 3 ½ day window.  The outlook for the upcoming week is favorable and should allow Midsouth planting to catch up to (if not surpass) historical averages.

Table 2.  U.S. Rice Planting Progress, 2022.


May 1, 2022

Last Week

Last Year

5-Yr Avg.


Percent Planted































United States





Source:  USDA-NASS.


Fertilizer Market:

Highlights from CF Industries quarterly earnings release:

  • CF estimates 2022 U.S. corn plantings will be 91 to 93 million acres compared with USDA’s estimate of 89.5 million acres.

  • Fertilizer trade flows to Brazil will be among the most affected by Russian export problems.

  • expects some exports of urea from China to restart in the second half of 2022.

  • expects Russian fertilizer producers to continue to export, but at reduced rates.

Highlights from Corteva Inc.’s earnings release:

  • expects more than 70% of Ukraine’s spring crop will be planted.

  • currently doesn’t see any switching between U.S. corn and soy plantings.

  • Brazil is seeing strong incentives to plant more soybeans in fall ‘22.


Russian fertilizer cargoes sailing to Brazil averaged 81,000 metric tons a week in April, about 9% below 2022 average pre-war levels of 89,000 tons.  In the four weeks following the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russian cargoes averaged 146,000 tons a week, as the anticipation of sanctions likely encouraged earlier delivery of contracted shipments.

New inflow is expected to slow this week, with three, as opposed to last week’s 10, Russian vessels (about 75,000 tons of fertilizer) en route to Brazil.  Securing enough fertilizer for the 22/23 crop is a top priority for Brazil.

Brazil plans 'fertilizer diplomacy' trip to North Africa, Jordan to secure more imports


DD50 Rice Management Program is Live

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:


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


Trent Roberts

Extension Soil Fertility


Scott Stiles

Extension Economist


Yeshi Wamishe

Extension Rice Pathologist