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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - June 10, 2022
“Rainy day people don’t talk, they just listen till they’ve heard it all.”
“Forget the curveball, Ricky. Give him the heater!” If you’re tired of the weather
curveballs this spring (and this week), you’re about to get straight gas next week.
Overall, the rice crop seems to be enjoying the mild weather to date, with a few hot
days tempered by cooler rainy days. That will rapidly change next week as rice catches
another gear in growth. If you weren’t behind on management yet, you’re about to
This week’s earlier than expected rainfall events, which were heavier than initially
expected, caught many off-guard. A good number of fields are now crossways in terms
of management as they were caught in the middle of spraying and fertilizing when rains
That’s where the upside comes into play next week. The hot and dry weather should
allow us to push things as fast as we can go. Give it all you’ve got, but be careful
in the heat. Herbicides that require moisture to work likely won't work so well this
week, and herbicides that work better in the heat will get hotter. Choose carefully.
We talk about urease inhibitors below - keep in mind that with this week's forecast
heat, flood-up time may take longer than expected making these products more likely
to provide a benefit.
Let us know if we can help.
New on Arkansas Row Crops Radio this week:
Weeds AR Wild Series, S2 Ep 16: Coating Loyant and Novixid on Fertilizer
Fig. 1. NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.
Jarrod Hardke and Trent Roberts
The weather remains highly uncooperative as we head well into June, and many scenarios
are cropping up that throw a wrench into our desired preflood nitrogen (N) management
plans. The first thing to remember is we prefer to run a DD50 report (https://DD50.uada.edu) to know where we stand in crop progress. We want to have N applied by the final
N date, but there is time built in after that for getting the field flooded. It can
be better to wait a few days after that final N date to get optimal soil and environmental
conditions for fertilizing rather than force fertilizer into a bad situation exacerbating
loss potential and “wasting good money”.
Field is dry: Minimum expectations – 1) silt loams – shoes leave little to no impression and soils
are at “whitecapping”; 2) clays – surface soil is not tacky and starting to crack.
Use urea treated with a recommended NBPT product to minimize ammonia volatilization
losses which occur when urea is left on the soil surface unincorporated by irrigation
or rainfall. Potential N shortfalls can be caught and corrected with no yield penalty
6-8 weeks postflood.
Field is muddy: Wait until the field is mostly free of standing water, and use urea treated with
a recommended NBPT. After application, attempt to let the soil dry beneath the urea,
if possible, but if rain occurs on the applied urea, flood the field. Letting the
soil dry prior to flooding will allow the urea to incorporate into the soil and will
perform similar to if optimal conditions were present at the time of flooding. When
urea is applied to mud and flooding commences before the soil dries the urea does
not incorporate into the soil, but rather dissolves into the water and is lost from
the floodwater before the plant can take it up. If muddy conditions are present and
unlikely to dry before another rain, increase the preflood rate by 10-20 lb N/acre
(20-40 lb urea/acre) and begin flooding. Under very poor conditions, consider a 20-30
lb N/acre (40-60 lb urea/acre) rate increase.
Field is flooded: If conditions have created standing water through the final recommended time to
apply N, set spills and begin applying N in a “spoon-feed” manner – 100 lb urea/acre
once a week for 3-4 weeks. For hybrids, a minimum of 3 and possibly 4 applications
of 100 lb/urea/acre are needed to maximize yield. For varieties, a minimum of 4 and
possibly 5 applications of 100 lb urea/acre are needed to maximize yield. Some varieties
may have lower N requirements (such as DG263L) and may fall somewhere in between the
hybrid/variety spoon-feed recommendations.
More rice is, or will be attempting to, go to flood now. Urea is a great nitrogen
(N) fertilizer source, especially for rice, due to its high N analysis and granular
form that aids in both ground and aerial application.
However, there is no perfect N fertilizer source and for all the good qualities of urea, ammonia volatilization
is its fatal flaw. Urea is technically an “organic” compound as it contains carbon,
oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen (that’s organic in the chemistry sense – not the farming
classification sense). Urea must be dissolved and then hydrolyzed or converted to
ammonium before the plant can take it up. The process of urea hydrolysis (conversion
from urea to ammonium) is catalyzed by an enzyme known as urease – which is basically
A few key things to understand about ammonia volatilization loss from urea: 1) volatilization
is a surface loss mechanism – urea that has been incorporated with tillage, rainfall, or irrigation is not prone
to N losses via volatilization; 2) the higher the soil pH the more ammonia loss potential;
3) soils with lower CEC contents (sands and silt loams) are more likely to experience
significant ammonia loss via surface applied urea than heavier textured soils such
as clay loams and clays; 4) urea hydrolysis and ammonia volatilization losses do take
time to occur – the loss is not immediate. For most soils and environmental conditions,
it requires 2-3 days before we see appreciable N loss via ammonia volatilization.
A quality urease inhibitor that contains NBPT is worth its weight in gold when it
comes to mitigating ammonia volatilization losses from urea applied preflood. If
you are on clay soils or require 3 days or less to flood then you probably will see
no benefit from a urease inhibitor. If you are on a silt loam soil and conditions
are right, you can lose as much as 30-40% of your applied urea-N in as little as 7
Notes to remember when using ammonium sulfate (AMS) – ammonia volatilization losses
are seldom an issue when using AMS and there is no need for a urease inhibitor; urease inhibitors are only for urea. If you are blending urea and AMS have only the urea treated prior to blending.
Do not let them blend the products and then charge you for the cost of treating both
the AMS and the urea.
Another question that has been asked concerns using a urease inhibitor in standing
water – DO NOT USE A UREASE INHIBIOTR IF YOU ARE APPLYING UREA INTO STANDING WATER!
You will get no benefit from a urease inhibitor for either early N or midseason N
applied if the permanent flood has already been established. If the field is muddy
and there are puddles here and there AND you intend to let the field dry before you
establish a permanent flood, then yes you do need to use a urease inhibitor.
The UofA System Division of Agriculture does a significant amount of laboratory and
field testing to validate the quality of urease inhibitors and the two things that
should be considered are the product active ingredient and concentration – similar
to how you would select and use herbicides. The most consistent and reliable urease
inhibitor is NBPT (N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide), but more recently NPPT has
shown to have similar benefits in reducing ammonia volatilization losses from urea.
For more information on Nitrogen Fertilizer Additives such as urease inhibitors please
see fact sheet FSA-2169.
Table 1. List of tested and recommended NBPT-containing urease inhibitors and suggested
application rates for urea in rice.
3.0 - 4.0
‡ Unknown, product label does not specify concentration of NBPT.
⁋ ANVOL contains 16% NBPT and 27% duromide which has also been shown to reduce ammonia
# Limus contains 16.88% NBPT and 5.63% NPPT, which is a proprietary inhibitor owned
Currently, there are many urease inhibitors on the market and oftentimes there are
too many for us to test. Just because a product is not in our current list does not
mean that it cannot be used effectively. There are some rules of thumb to keep in
mind. First off, the product should contain NBPT or another published urease inhibitor.
Secondly, the concentration of NBPT will help determine the application rate per ton
of urea. For products that contain <20% NBPT you need to use 4 qt/ton urea. For
products that contain ~26-30% NBPT you need 3 qt/ton urea. There are some concentrated
formulations that you can apply a lower rates such as 2 qt/ton urea. It’s always
best to read and follow labels to ensure that you are getting what you pay for.
There has been some chatter and speculation recently that urease inhibitors “tie up”
the N in a way that might delay uptake and slow plant growth because the N cannot
be taken up. There are no grounds for this. The only way that the N can be taken
up by the plant is after is has been incorporated into the rootzone which is typically
done using rainfall or irrigation.
Typically, as urea is incorporated with water there is a dilution and separation from
the urease inhibitor which allows the urea to hydrolyze to ammonium and become plant
available. Once the urea is incorporated below the soil surface, we do not need to
worry about ammonia volatilization losses. There have been countless field trials
with numerous urease inhibitors which have shown the rice total N uptake and yield
when using an effective urease inhibitor are equal to or greater than untreated urea.
Also, common sense always comes in handy.
An effective urease inhibitor is a great investment if the conditions are present
for significant volatilization loss from surface applied urea. Costs for effective
urease inhibitors can run from $5-15/acre depending on the urease inhibitor selected
and the rate of N being applied. Rarely do we find a product that works as consistently
as an effective urease inhibitor and more often than not if conditions are prone to
volatilization losses it will more than pay for itself. Familiarize yourself with
when and where urease inhibitors should be used effectively and if all else fails
give us a call and let us help!
USDA released its June supply/demand report on Friday (6/10). The outlook for 2022/23
U.S. long-grain this month is for higher beginning and ending stocks with no other
changes to the new crop balance sheet. The 2022/23 beginning stocks were increased
1.0 million cwt to 22.4 million, due to higher imports in 2021/22. This adjustment
increased ending stocks by 1 million to a projected total of 19.3 million cwt.
For 2021/22, imports were raised 1.0 million cwt to 29 million on increased volume
from Asia in the first four months of 2022. Adjustments to 2021/22 demand were offsetting
with domestic and residual use increased by 1.0 million cwt to 118 million and exports
lowered 1.0 million cwt to 63.0 million on the recent slow pace of sales.
Table 2. U.S. Long-Grain Supply Demand.
Harvested Acres (mil.)
Domestic & Residual
Avg. Farm Price ($/cwt)
Avg. Farm Price ($/bu.)
Source: USDA, June 2022.
The 2022/23 season average farm price (SAFP) for long-grain was unchanged at $15.50
per cwt ($6.98/bu.). The 2021/22 SAFP was also unchanged at $13.80 per cwt. or $6.21
per bushel. Under the current price outlook, a PLC payment of 9 cents per bushel
would be available for the 2021 crop. USDA will announce the final 21/22 marketing
year average rice price in October.
From a technical perspective, the September chart is starting to look worrisome with
the contract set to close lower for the second consecutive week. Support from the
20-day moving average (red line) has failed miserably over the past week. Furthermore,
early Friday (6/10) trading has slipped below the 50-day moving average (green line)
at $16.94. As mentioned earlier, U.S. rice prices have risen to heights that have
dramatically slowed export demand. The market’s job now is to find a competitive
price level. Of course, the findings in the June 30 Acreage from NASS will be the next key input for the rice market. For now, $16.60 may serve
as near term price support. Beneath there, the 100-day moving average sits near $16
where the market traded for several sessions in late March/early April.
CME Rough Rice Futures, September 2022 daily chart.
Farm Bill Field Hearing Scheduled for June 17
What: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry field hearing. Witnesses
will include Arkansas agricultural producers, industry stakeholders, and rural community
Date: Friday, June 17, 2022
Time: 9 – 11 a.m.
Place: Riceland Hall of the Fowler Center at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Arkansas
RSVP requested: please contact Patrick Creamer or Sara Lasure
Live Broadcast: The hearing will be streamed live online at ag.senate.gov.
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 on the DD50 website.
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