Rice Progress and Condition

Buehring, Former Extension Rice Specialist
By Buehring, Former Extension Rice Specialist June 29, 2012 13:51 Updated

Rice Acreage Report

USDA released their final planting intensions report today.  Mississippi is still reported as having 135,000 acres of long grain rice.  Estimated long grain acres in other states are estimated as follows: Arkansas 1,140,000 acres, California 5,000 acres, Louisiana 355,000 acres, Missouri 195,000 acres, and Texas 110,000.  The total long grain rice acres in 2012 are estimated at 1,940,000 acres.  That is an increase of 146,000 acres or 8% from 2011.  Also, this acreage report was 4% higher than the March planting intentions report.  This latest acreage report coupled with sluggish export sales has bearish implications on the rice market.

Rice Progress

USDA reported on Monday that Mississippi was 13% headed, which is the most rice we have had heading this early.  By the second week in July, a majority of our rice acres should be in the heading stage.  Once again this is early for us.  Rice that headed last week could possibly harvested by the end of July.  Depending on how long this heat persists, widespread harvesting could begin around the second week in August.

Heat and Its Effect on Pollination

In 2010 and 2011, heat had a tremendous effect on rice pollination and ultimately rice yields.  In those years we had about a week’s period where temperatures where in excess of 100 F during the day and 78 F at night.  For rice that was trying to pollinate during these excessive temperatures, rice yields were extremely poor.

Rice begins to pollinate around 9:30 in the morning and typically is done before lunch for that given day.  Temperatures during mid- to late-morning hours are very critical in determining the success of pollination. The threshold temperature at which pollination becomes reduced is approximately 93 F.  When temperatures rise above this temperature pollination and ultimately yield can be severely impacted.

So far temperatures this year have not been as hot as the past two years.  Most of our nights have cooled down to the low 70’s F.  This helps the temperature to not be as high during pollination.  If the low is around 80 F, it does not take long before it becomes 90 F.  Looking at last year for example, the first week of August was a critical period where rice was pollination was severely impacted by high temperatures.  During that week the average low was 78 F and the average high was 102 F.  However, most importantly the temperature around 9:30 AM (when rice begins to pollinate) averaged 94 F.  As mentioned above, 93 F or greater is when pollination becomes affected by high temperatures during pollination.  The hottest temperature at 9:30 AM we have had so far was yesterday and today which was only 88 F.

With more rice entering the heading and pollination stage, producers have been concerned with these hotter temperatures.  Right now though, I do not expect these temperatures to have any significant impact on rice yields.  However, we will continue to monitor rice that is pollinating during this heat and be sure to let you know if there are any issues come up as we move forward.

Rice Disease Situation

So far rice diseases have been relatively low to moderate.  Rain showers that came over a couple of weeks ago flared some sheath blight up.  More recently, the rainfall has been absent and the temperatures have increased which has kept sheath blight to more moderate levels.

Strobularin resistant sheath blight continues to be a problem in Louisiana.  To date we have not found any within the state.  With that being said, if you have a field where sheath blight was not controlled by a strobularin fungicide (Quadris, Quilt, Stratego), please call Dr. Tom Allen or me to come look and see if we identify the problem.  This resistance issue should not be taken lightly and we want to know if there is any issue within our state.

Neck blast has pretty much been absent across the state and so far none has been brought to my attention.  The same cannot be said Louisiana.  They have had a neck blast epidemic which will significantly impact yields.  One of the main causes for this issue in Louisiana is attributed to the frequent afternoon showers they have been receiving.  Blast is often associated with cool rainy overcast weather.  Our weather so far has been the opposite of this.  However, rice that is grown on silt loam soils and/or is hard to hold a good flood on it, need to be scouted.  The following is list of varieties and their reaction to neck blast: CL111 – Susceptible, CL151 – Very Susceptible, CL162 – Moderately Susceptible, Cocodrie – Susceptible, and Rex – Susceptible.  Most of the hybrids are rated Moderately Resistant to Resistant.

Rice Stinkbug Situation

Most of the stinkbug activity has light when compared to last year.  Most of what I have seen has been on headed grass and rice that is beginning to head.  As we always have, we will treat good portion on the earliest rice with an insecticide because that is where rice stinkbugs begin to congregate.  Once more rice heads, rice stinkbugs begin to disperse or dilute over more acres.  One thing to keep in mind, isolated rice fields could possibly have more rice stinkbugs than areas that have a large acreage of rice.  So continue to scout all fields throughout the heading stage.  Our threshold is 5 rice stinkbugs/10 sweeps the first two weeks in heading and 10 rice stinkbugs/10 sweeps the second two weeks in heading.

Ratooning Rice

With the earlieness of our rice crop, I have had some calls about ratooning rice that is harvested early.  If you harvest by the first of August, there is potential (no guarantee) to produce a ratoon crop.  It takes approximately 45 to 60 days for the heads to emerge from the ratoon crop after the flood has been resumed and probably another 30 days for grain fill and to get moisture down to a harvestable level.  However, the exact number of days it takes to produce a second crop is highly dependent on the weather.  If considering ratooning, here are some tips: cut first crop on dry ground (no rutting), try to leave a good 12” of stubble in the field, apply 100 lb/Acre of urea, and flood up.  FYI, the average first frost date for Stoneville, MS is October 27.

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Buehring, Former Extension Rice Specialist
By Buehring, Former Extension Rice Specialist June 29, 2012 13:51 Updated
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