UACES Facebook Arkansas Rice Update 6-24-22
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Arkansas Rice Update 6-24-22

by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - June 24, 2022

Arkansas Rice Update 2022-14

June 24, 2022

Jarrod Hardke, Scott Stiles, and Yeshi Wamishe

“You see I been through the desert on a horse with no name…”



Drier Than a Mummy’s Armpit

Jarrod Hardke

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.

NOAA 7 day precipitation forecast


Midseason Nitrogen (N) Timing for Varieties

Jarrod Hardke

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).

Percent of optimum yield for midseason N timing based on days after preflood N incorporated

Fig. 3.  Percent of optimum yield for midseason N timing based on days after beginning internode elongation (BIE; green ring).

Percent of optimum yield for midseason N timing based on days after beginning internode elongation


Start Scouting for Leaf Blast

Yeshi Wamishe

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.

What are favorable conditions for blast fungus spore germination?

  • 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

  • Late planting

  • 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

Where should you scout for rice leaf blast?

Look at tree lines, dry field edges, levees, and spots in the field with a greener canopy due to excessive N. 

What are the symptoms of rice blast?

Early Symptoms
Early 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.

Close up of a rice plant with greyish-black spots, indicative of rice leaf blast disease


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.

A closeup view of the lower leaves of a rice plant with typical symptoms of blast, with the canopy of the plant open


Later Symptoms
Leaf 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 after heading. 

Learn the Source and Spread

Source of Inoculum
The 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 Spread
The spores can easily be carried by wind and hence, blown from a long distance across the field and neighboring fields.

What are management practices for rice leaf blast?

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.

Close up of a rice plant infected with both blast and sheath blight diseases



Rice Market Update

Scott Stiles

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.

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.

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.


Week ending June 19 (%)

Previous Week (%)

Last Year (%)

























U.S. Total




Source:  USDA, NASS.



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