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Delta Farm Press
by Jarrod Hardke, Rice Extension Agronomist - September 9, 2022
“With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, nothing remains quite the
September is rice month for a reason. The time for serious statewide harvest progress
looks to be upon us. We’ve had excellent weather the past couple of days and after
a system moves through over the weekend, next week looks right to rock and roll.
Humidity dropping out while daytime highs still reach the 90s along with sun and a
breeze. What more can we ask for?
The past week has been filled with some frustration over seemingly ready-to-harvest
fields that moisture refuses to fall out on. Even in rice with moisture getting close,
green kernels aren’t finishing up with the clouds and high humidity. With how things
typically go when this happens, moisture will begin to fall out and it will all be
ready at once.
Comments on yields continue to be “average” or “a little under last year”. For the
most part there aren’t many commenting that they’re disappointed. We seem to be doing
well considering the tough year. Until we move into harvesting our main planting
window, we can’t really know for sure how it’s going to shake out just yet.
The one main area to comment on is the variability reported in row rice yields. They
seem to be all over the map. While there’s nothing definitive to point at yet, it
would seem reasonable to say it’s water related given the drought this year. As in
most cases, it’s probably not that simple, but more likely that we had a harder time
watering and given the heat this year it created a “stress on stress” situation.
Milling yields are overall still better than last year, but maybe not drastically
so. It sounds like we’re in for an average milling year, but things could still improve
as we go forward.
We’ve reached the point in the year where Rice Updates may not be provided every week,
but will be sent out when we have information we think can be beneficial.
Let us know if we can help.
Fig. 1. NOAA 7-day precipitation forecast.
Each year there are questions about estimating rice yield lost out of the combine.
Table 1 provides the straightforward answer, but it’s not that simple. The combine doesn’t
spread residue as wide as the header in most cases (depending on how you set it),
so simply counting the grains in a square foot behind the machine may overestimate
or underestimate loss.
To be most accurate, you need to count the number of kernels in a strip the width
of the header (Table 2). For instance, with a 30 ft header, you would need to count the kernels on the
ground in a strip 30 ft wide and 4 inches long (which amounts to 10 square feet).
Divide the kernels counted in that strip by 10 to get your number per square foot.
A simpler, and faster, approach is to think of the header width in sections. For
a 30-ft header, think of it as having three 10-ft sections. Take a single square
foot count in the center of each of these 10-ft sections, total the numbers and divide
by three. This will give you the number per square foot and capture areas to the
side and directly behind the combine, while taking a third of the time as the traditional
method. Remember that when using this quicker method, you must be sampling in the
residue swath – some set their combines to spread residue narrower or wider for various
Remember to count kernels on the ground in an area not yet harvested so that you account
for shattered grain that isn’t being lost from the harvesting process. Subtract any
grain already on the ground from your harvest loss estimates.
Table 1. Converting rice field loss counts into bushels per acre.
Table 2. Dimensions for field loss estimate.
20 ft x 6 in
25 ft x 4.8 in
30 ft x 4 in
35 ft x 3.4 in
The rice market is making solid gains to finish the week on news that India's government
announced a ban on broken rice exports. The ban goes into effect immediately, although
some exports will be allowed until September 15th. The Indian government also imposed some restrictions beyond the lower-grade rice.
A 20% export duty goes into effect on shipments of white and brown rice, which make
up 60% of total exports. Parboiled and basmati rice are excluded from the ban.
Recall in mid-May, India’s wheat exports were banned, and export restrictions were
also placed on sugar. In the past two weeks, a wheat flour export ban was announced.
This is all an effort to manage food price inflation. India accounts for 40% of the
world's rice exports. For the 2022/23 marketing year, India was projected to export
22 million metric tons of rice, more than Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and the U.S.
The technical aspects of November rice futures look more favorable in Friday morning’s
trading. The contract closed above the 100-day moving average (green line) Thursday.
Trading is back at the 20-day moving average (red line) at $17.43 ahead of Friday’s
Next week’s trading will focus on USDA reporting. The monthly WASDE and Crop Production will be released Monday, September 12th. NASS will include results of its’ first objective field surveys. Also, some revisions
to rice acres could be made based on the findings in FSA’s August acreage reporting.
Weekly Export Sales are expected to resume September 15th.
Fig. 2. CME Rough Rice Futures, November 2022 Daily Chart.
Rice basis around eastern Arkansas was steady this week. For September / October
delivery, basis at mills was 23 cents per bushel under November futures. Mill bids
Friday morning were near $7.63. Basis at driers ranged this week from 29 to 36 cents
per bushel under November, with bids Friday in the $7.49 to $7.56 range.
We continue to hear of U.S. nitrogen prices moving higher. Industry analysts believe
this is largely driven by nitrogen plant outages in Europe resulting from sharp increases
in natural gas costs. Also, it’s seasonal tendency. Generally, prices for all major
fertilizers stabilize in September and trend higher in the last quarter of the calendar
year. In addition to nitrogen, phosphates are starting to increase after several
weeks of steady prices. The potash market remains steady for now. Expect this to
change as wheat planting and fall fertilizer application gets underway.
In Monday’s Crop Progress, USDA estimated the U.S. rice harvest at 24% complete for the week ending September
4th, up from 18% the prior week. Louisiana and Texas’ harvest had reached 75 and 81%,
respectively. Harvest momentum has slowed in Louisiana. Following the late August
rains, it is estimated there are 300,000 to 400,000 acres of soybeans damaged. The
sprouting that resulted has led to some deep discounts. Elevators that were accepting
damaged soybeans are said to be paying as little as $4 to $5 a bushel.
At the start of the week, Arkansas’ rice harvest was at 11% percent, trailing the
5-year average of 17 percent. Harvest progressed well in Mississippi with 23% harvested
at the start of the week.
Table 3. Rice Harvested (%).
Source: USDA NASS
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