Mississippi Rice Progress – May 17, 2013

Tim Walker, Agronomist
By Tim Walker, Agronomist May 17, 2013 14:25

Mississippi Rice Progress – May 17, 2013

The USDA reported rice planting for Mississippi was 22% complete as of May 12.  Last year, we were 100% planted and much was going to flood.  The five year average is 86% planted.  As I write, I have heard rainfall reports of less than 0.25″ in the Hollandale area, 1.0″ in Stoneville, 3+” in the Cleveland area, 1.5″ in Clarksdale, and 0.5″ in Tunica.  Quite a bit of planting progress was made this week.  The north delta had made the least amount of progress, but producers were finally able to get a few really good days in this week.

Unfortunately, many growers are replanting rice this week largely due to off-target herbicide drift.  This is something I feared would happen.  Since I’ve been working in rice, the worst years for herbicide drift on rice are those with wet springs.  So far, the drift cases I have evaluated are south of highway 82.  This is also the oldest rice in the state.  Making the decision on whether to replant or try to salvage has been very difficult.  The rice that has been affected has been in the ground a long time and has been slow to grow due to the cold conditions.  This rice has been stressed a lot due to environmental conditions, so the additional stress caused by drift has really added to the problem.  In most years, I seldom recommend a replant due to glyphosate drift because the rice will usually recover in about 2 weeks and yields are typically not greatly reduced from early season drift.  This year, the age of the rice, the calendar, and the weed spectrum in the rice fields are combining to suggest we may be better off replanting much of this affected rice.  In this situation, growers are forced to consider how much longer it will take for affected rice to begin to grow again, the herbicide options once rice is healthy enough to spray due to increasing weed size, and the added fertilizer to try to kick start the rice back to healthy growth.  These have to be considered with respect to a rather inexpensive application of glyphosate to kill the existing rice plants, and current temperatures and soil moisture that will allow the rice to emerge relatively quickly and move towards flood in about 3 weeks after emergence.  It’s a tough call.  Regardless of the decision, one has to make it and know it was the right decision and not look back.

Please be vigilant to communicate with neighbors and custom applicators to encourage common sense when applying herbicides.  In the right conditions, herbicides can drift for miles and negatively impact sensitive crops such as rice.  With the slow start we have already had, the last thing we need to be doing is starting again with rice planting as many are having to do.  If you have questions or need advice on how to manage rice that has been affected by drift, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

On a positive note, rice that has not been affected by drift is beginning to respond to the warmer temperatures.  Hopefully, some of this rice will be approaching flood in the next 10 days or so.  I’ll be writing next week on fertilizer rates and sources, including a run down on the nitrogen stabilizers.

On-Farm Variety Trial and a few hundred acres of rice killed with glyphosate drift in south Washington County, MS

On-Farm Variety Trial and a few hundred acres of rice killed with glyphosate drift in south Washington County, MS.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tim Walker, Agronomist
By Tim Walker, Agronomist May 17, 2013 14:25
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment
View comments

Write a comment

<

Subscribe to receive updates

More Info By