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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - May 6, 2022
“Roll on down the road just let it roll.”
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
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.
Fig. 2. Arkansas Rice Planting Progress, 2010-2022.
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.
Fig. 4. Percent rice grain yield at various rice growth stages with simulated levels
of defoliation (h/t Nick Bateman).
Fig. 5. Delay in heading at various rice growth stages with simulated levels of defoliation
(h/t Nick Bateman).
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
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.
Fig. 7. Grain yield performance by planting date of fields enrolled in the Rice Research
Verification Program, 2010-2021.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 email@example.com.
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