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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - June 11, 2021
“Dry land is not a myth! I’ve seen it!”
“At some point it can’t get any wetter, it can only get deeper.” The South half of
Arkansas is feeling that statement this week. Torrential rains struck areas of east-central
and southeast AR with places like Dumas seeing 18” or more. This week turned into
one of crop and field destruction south of I-40 (not to mention homes and businesses),
while rains scattered the northeast region.
Either way you slice it, by and large it’s another week lost for management progress
on this crop. One could argue it’s one step forward in time, two steps backward in
management. Washed out and busted levees are the most widespread rice concern in
heavy rainfall areas, and in all areas attempting to fertilize and flood aging rice
is reaching a critical point. However, there are more rice acres that are completely
submerged and need drainage quickly.
Mild conditions may work in our favor for managing these issues, but lack of pushing
the crop forward will only push the harvest window further back. Temperatures appear
ready to finally take off this week, increasing the need to manage this crop quickly
to stay on track.
Fig. 1. AHPS Observed Precipitation for last 7 days (6/11/21).
Jarrod Hardke and Trent Roberts
With all of the rain experienced in south AR this week, the questions certainly turn
to rice survival. Rice is semi-aquatic and tolerates a flood but does not like deep
water and submergence. It all depends on the overall conditions, but the condition
of the floodwater is a key component. While there are no real management recommendations
other than ‘get the water off’, here is some of what you can expect on rice survival
which may influence your efforts on which fields to work hardest to remove water from.
Younger rice, still in the seedling / tillering / vegetative stages, can survive for
long periods of time under submerged conditions. When conditions are mild, and the
floodwater is cool and moving, we’ve seen rice survive submergence for a month. However,
we’ve also seen rice die in a week when floodwater conditions are deep, muddy, and
Older rice at midseason or around joint movement / reproductive growth is more sensitive
to being submerged. If submerged for less than 7 days, it generally survives but
there may be issues with it laying over as the water goes down and need time to stand
up. In the 7-10 day window, survival can be a coin flip. As we approach 10 days
or more of submergence, the outcome is usually bad and plants die. Keep in mind these
comments are based on years of observations of flooding events that have occurred
and have been the most common responses, hopefully most fields will beat the odds.
Fig. 2. Completely submerged rice field.
Fields that had already been fertilized and flooded, but now have washed out levees,
pose another problem. Some will be straightforward repairs, but others are extensive.
Whether you have lost nitrogen is a highly variable situation.
If you’ve been flooded for around three weeks then any N loss will be minimal or nonexistent
when you reflood (you haven’t lost N just because you lost the flood). Just get the flood back on
as soon as you can and keep going to avoid allowing fields to dry too much and stress
in early reproductive stages.
If you’ve only been flooded a short time and after repairs will be reflooding prior
to 3 weeks since initial flood, N loss could happen. However, it is advised that
you do not automatically add N at this stage. You are far better off to reflood and
then monitor the crop as it continues to progress. Unnecessary N applications will
only increase our cost and exaggerate management issues. After the flood has been
reestablished monitor for potential N deficiencies or use the GreenSeeker to determine
if and when more N may be needed. Work has shown that rice yield can be recovered
or increased with midseason N applications as late as 3 weeks after panicle initiation
Fig. 3. Rice levee and MIRI pipe washout with flood escaping.
Rice “flashing” from applications of ALS herbicides (such as Permit) is nothing new.
Often it occurs earlier in the season but in these cooler, wet years it continues
to show up even now. As in the past, blame the cool, wet, overcast conditions. The
plants just aren’t growing off and making it through the herbicide, but they will
The strange yellow patterns, sometimes involving compaction from wheel tracks, are
the giveaway to this issue. The lack of a consistent pattern is typical of the ALS
flash pattern. If the rice has been flooded, keeping a shallow flood will help reduce
stress on the rice and let it grow out of it. In rare instances of severe responses
we may have to let the flood drop back to a muddy state.
Fig. 4. Yellow flashing in rice due to ALS herbicide.
Although the futures market disagreed and closed lower on Thursday, the June WASDE
adjustments were somewhat favorable for rice. The “new crop” or 2021/22 long-grain
ending stocks were reduced 2 million cwt. to 30.1 million. This was due entirely
to a 2 million cwt. reduction in beginning stocks.
Old crop, 2020/21, ending stocks were lowered 2 million cwt. from a combination of
lower imports and higher exports for 2020/21. USDA noted lower import volumes from
Asia in recent months and increased export sales and shipments to Venezuela. There
are eight (8) reporting weeks left in the 2020/21 marketing year. This month’s increase
in exports was a surprise as long-grain sales and shipments lag the previous year’s
pace by 1 and 2% respectively.
There were no changes this month to the old or new crop season-average farm prices
for long-grain. The projected PLC payment for the 2020 crop remains at 63 cents per
The next release of the WASDE report will be July 12th. It will include any acreage adjustments revealed in the June Acreage report. Recall U.S. growers intended to plant 2.078 million acres of long-grain
this year (1.13 million in Arkansas). These intentions were based on surveys conducted
during the first two weeks of March. From early March to mid-May, November soybean
futures pushed another $1.80/bu. higher and offered ample opportunities to forward
price at $14. Competition from soybeans along with drawn out planting this spring
has the trade looking for a steeper than 11% annual decline in 2021 rice acres.
New Crop Rice Bids / Basis:
CBOT September rice futures settled 14 cents lower on Thursday at $13.23/cwt. New
crop basis at eastern Arkansas driers / local elevators remained steady this week
at 16 to 23 cents per bushel under September futures. Bids for August to October
delivery were in the $5.76 to $5.83 per bushel range as of Thursday’s close. Basis
at mills was 9 cents under September futures with bids at $5.90 per bushel.
U.S. Crop Conditions:
In this week’s Crop Progress the U.S. rice crop condition improved slightly from the previous week to 75% good-to-excellent
(G/E). Arkansas remained steady at 77% G/E. Crop conditions improved week-to-week
in Louisiana and Missouri. Texas and Mississippi each slipped a point lower.
Diesel futures are back to pre-COVID levels, pushing past the January 2020 high at
$2.1195. Global oil demand has increased 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) over the
past month and is currently 96.5 million bpd. This is projected to increase to 99
million bpd in August. Expect to see WTI crude oil progress toward $78 per barrel
NYMEX Diesel Futures, Weekly Nearby Contract.
Upcoming USDA Reports:
June 14,21,28 Crop Progress
June 14 ERS Rice Outlook
June 30 Acreage
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. 15: Around the State Weed Control Discussion (6-9-21)
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: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.