Many of you may already be aware that Dr. Nathan Buehring no longer serves as the Extension Rice Specialist for Mississippi State University. Nathan chose to pursue another career in farming and resigned from MSU on February 15. Nathan and I “grew up” in the rice industry together over the last 8 years. I appreciate his friendship and working relationship. He served Mississippi’s rice growers well during his tenure as Rice Specialist. I along with Dr. Tom Allen, Dr. Jason Bond, and Dr. Jeff Gore will be working together to field grower and industry concerns. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can assist you.
Rice planting season is just around the corner. Planting date evaluations have been conducted since 2006 at the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville. Based on these studies, rice yields are greatest and most consistent from year to year when varieties are planted in late March. Averaged over all the data, rice can achieve 95% or greater of its maximum yield potential when planted from March 20 to April 20. The lone exception is the excessive heat we encountered in 2011, thus rice planted on April 20, 2011, experienced lower yields due to heat induced sterility during pollination in the summer of 2011. My recommendation is if the soil is dry, plan to begin planting rice the last week of March. Within the next week, I will provide optimum seeding rates for the varieties that will be planted in Mississippi in 2013.