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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - June 24, 2022
“You see I been through the desert on a horse with no name…”
Who needs a little relief from this heat wave? That was a rhetorical question. The
rice is loving it, so long as you can keep the water to it. It does look like we’re
in for a short break in the extreme temps for a few days next week, but the rain chances
are still minimal. Fingers crossed that we catch a good one.
With more rice entering reproductive growth, it’s time to be mindful of the cut-off
timings for herbicides (included in last week’s update). Be mindful about herbicides
we’re applying to other crops nearby too. Let’s keep a good-looking rice crop healthy.
Also, with midseason comes the time to be on the lookout for diseases. While little
has happened so far with the extreme heat, a small decline in temperatures could put
us directly in the crosshairs of disease development. Scout!
Next week we’ll have info on the June Acreage report which will give us a new look at rice acre expectations. It’s the last survey
estimate before we start seeing FSA acreage data in August.
Be safe in the heat, keep yourself and your rice watered up.
Let us know if we can help.
Fig. 1. NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.
The majority of rice acres are entering or have already entered reproductive growth.
We want to continue emphasizing that our recommendations for midseason nitrogen (N)
timing for varieties have changed in recent years. Remember we only recommend midseason N applications
for varieties, NOT for hybrids.
Data from 2012-2018 across a range of popular varieties during that time has shown
how we can improve our midseason N applications compared to previous recommendations.
We recommend to apply midseason N after beginning internode elongation AND 4 weeks
after preflood N was incorporated by the flood. You must meet both conditions before
applying midseason N to maximize your benefit.
Fig. 2 shows the percent of optimum yield based on timing of midseason N after the flood
was established and indicates that 4-5 weeks after preflood N is incorporated is the
optimum time to apply midseason N.
Fig. 3 is another way of looking at the same data but based on days after beginning internode
elongation (BIE). In Fig. 3, ½” IE corresponds with 7 days after BIE.
Again, the absolute earliest to ever apply midseason N is BIE, but only if it’s been
4 weeks since the flood was established to incorporate the preflood N.
Fig. 2. Percent of optimum yield for midseason N timing based on days after preflood
N incorporated (flood establishment date).
Fig. 3. Percent of optimum yield for midseason N timing based on days after beginning
internode elongation (BIE; green ring).
Rice blast is unpredictable. It may be lurking in fields with a history if planted
with susceptible or moderately susceptible varieties. Infection may go fast when conditions
are favorable for the spores to germinate.
Susceptible or moderately susceptible varieties
9 hours + leaf wetness
Dew, fog, shaded areas (trees), frequent light rains
Cooler temperatures than needed for rice sheath blight
Excessive nitrogen (N) rate
Sandier soils that do not hold water
Low grounds or river valleys
Dry field edges, levees, and fields not adequately flooded
Look at tree lines, dry field edges, levees, and spots in the field with a greener
canopy due to excessive N.
Early SymptomsEarly symptoms may look like greyish-black spots, as seen in Fig. 4. You may find the typical blast symptoms if you open the canopy and look at the lower
leaves (Fig. 5).
Fig. 4. Early symptoms may look like greyish-black spots.
Fig. 5. Often typical blast symptoms are clearly seen when you open the canopy and
look at lower leaves in susceptible varieties planted in fields with a history.
Later SymptomsLeaf lesions are spindle-shaped and elongated with brown borders and grayish centers.
A brownish lesion on the internode at the base of the panicle causes “blasting” of
heads followed by breaking over of the head, later producing the “rotten neck” symptoms
Source of InoculumThe source of inoculum for early infection has not been satisfactorily determined.
The fungus may overwinter on diseased straw and stubble or, in some cases, carried
on infested or infected seeds.
Means of SpreadThe spores can easily be carried by wind and hence, blown from a long distance across
the field and neighboring fields.
For leaf stages of the disease, maintain proper flood level. Levels of infection tend
to be less severe where maintained flood water is at adequate but not excessive depths. Avoid excessive nitrogen rates. (Nitrogen amounts vary with cropping
history, soil type, varieties, etc.)
For later stages of the blast disease, using fungicides will be helpful. Fungicide
timing is critical for effective control. Early scouting aids in protective fungicide
decisions, particularly for neck and panicle blast.
Note: When scouting for blast, you may need to scout for other diseases such as sheath blight.
They can be found together as in Fig. 6.
Fig. 6. Blast and sheath blight on the same variety of rice.
September rice futures traded mostly lower this week, following a broader ag market
selloff. Cotton and grains offered no support to rice futures and the U.S. dollar
is trading near 20-year highs. The chart below is a good example of the inverse relationship
among the U.S. dollar and rice futures. The blue line represents the September ’22
rice contract, losing about 2.6% over the past 2 months. The black line is the U.S.
dollar, gaining about 2.5% over the same time period. The U.S. dollar is currently
trading at the highest levels since December 2002. This does not improve our competitiveness
in global export markets.
Fig. 7. U.S. Dollar Index and September 2022 Rice Futures, 2-month Percent Change.
Speaking of outside markets, recession fears have triggered selling across nearly
all ag commodities and ag company stocks. Nathan Rothschild, 19th-century British
financier, is credited with saying "the time to buy is when there's blood in the streets."
Much blood has been spilled this month for sure. As of Thursday’s close, rice, corn,
and soybean futures had lost 6 to 8% in value this month. Wheat is down 14% and cotton
is down 17%. It seems everything turned lower this month except diesel. NYMEX diesel
futures have gained about 35 cents this month. With the nearby contract trading around
$4.35, diesel prices have more than doubled over the past year—up 104%.
Key technical levels of support have broken down for many ag commodities this week.
When this happens it oftentimes leads to additional (and sometimes very rapid) speculative
selling. For rice, the 20-day and 50-day moving averages have failed as support.
We now turn our focus to the 100-day moving average. For the September contract,
the 100-day moving average sits at $16.23 (red line in chart below). This is a universally
watched technical trading level. Any trading below $16.23 would likely trigger more
selling. Watch this price level closely in the upcoming week.
Fig. 8. CME September ’22 Rice Futures.
Next Thursday, USDA will provide the June 30 Acreage and quarterly Grain Stocks reports. Expect volatility as traders and USDA try to pin down June 1 planted acres. The
current March “planting intentions” number for Arkansas rice acreage is 1.191 million—2%
below last year. Of the total, long-grain makes up 1.08 million and medium grain
is 110,000 acres.
For the week ending June 19, the overall condition of the U.S. rice crop at 72 percent
good-to-excellent is slightly lower than last week and last year. This is largely
driven by Texas and California. At 25 percent, Texas reported the smallest share
of its rice crop rated good or excellent. Note in the table how crop conditions in
Texas and California also show the largest declines from a year ago. For California,
the western half of the Sacramento Valley is faced with sharp reductions in irrigation
water this year from the Lake Shasta reservoir. Normally, California would have around
450,000 acres of rice. This year, industry sources estimate the state’s total will
not exceed 250,000 acres.
At 83 and 81 percent respectively, Louisiana and Arkansas reported the largest percentage
of the crop rated as good or excellent.
Table 1. U.S. Rice Condition, Percent Rated Good or Excellent.
Source: USDA, NASS.
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 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.
Rice Extension Agronomist
Extension Weed Scientist
Rice Verification Coordinator
Extension Soil Fertility
Extension Rice Pathologist