UACES Facebook Arkansas Rice Update 6-10-22
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Arkansas Rice Update 6-10-22

by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - June 10, 2022

Arkansas Rice Update 2022-12

June 10, 2022

Jarrod Hardke, Scott Stiles, and Trent Roberts

“Rainy day people don’t talk, they just listen till they’ve heard it all.”

Turn in the Weather?

Jarrod Hardke

“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 be.

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 arrived.

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.

NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast


Tips on Managing Preflood Nitrogen Under Suboptimal Conditions

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 ( 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.


Urease Inhibitors in Rice

Jarrod Hardke and Trent Roberts

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 everywhere.

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 days.

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.

Product Name



qt per ton urea




Agrotain Advanced



Agrotain Ultra






Arborite AG-NT












N-Fixx PF

3.0 - 4.0





Nitrain Express




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 volatilization loss.

# Limus contains 16.88% NBPT and 5.63% NPPT, which is a proprietary inhibitor owned by BASF.

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!


Rice Market Update

Scott Stiles

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.

Unit: million cwt.









May - June

  Harvested Acres (mil.)





  Yield (pounds/acre)





  Beginning Stocks















      Supply, Total 





  Domestic & Residual 










      Use, Total





  Ending Stocks





  Stocks-to-Use %





  Avg. Farm Price ($/cwt) 

$        13.80

$     15.50

$      15.50

  Avg. Farm Price ($/bu.) 

$          6.21

$       6.98

$        6.98


 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.

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 supporters. 

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


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 on the DD50 website.  


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