Mississippi Rice Progress – August 9, 2013

Tim Walker, Agronomist
By Tim Walker, Agronomist August 9, 2013 13:13

The rice crop in Mississippi continues to move forward.  In addition to several acres moving to the heading growth stage, there are fields that are being drained.  Draining typically means harvest is two weeks away.  I am anxious to see what the yield and quality will be, especially with very favorable yield and quality reports coming from south Louisiana.  USDA estimated 53% of the rice had reached heading compared to 95% last year and the five year average of 76%.  Rice problems after the slow start have been few and far between.  Escaped grass has largely been a result of the cold, slow start, in addition to the amount of rice surrounded by soybean that hasn’t allowed Regiment or Grasp to be applied to control big barnyardgrass.

More recently, Dr. Tom Allen confirmed the presence of leaf blast in some late planted ‘Rex’ in Bolivar and Sunflower counties.  Blast sounds an alarm for many in the Mississippi rice industry because it brings back memories of ‘Newbonnet’.  Leaf blast doesn’t guarantee rotten-neck blast will occur, but it does indicate the chances are greater.  Dr. Allen has outlined the recommended rates of the labeled fungicides in this week’s blog post.  These fungicides are very effective in controlling/preventing rotten-neck blast when the appropriate rates are applied at the appropriate timing.  The timing for Stratego and Quilt Xcel applications is at boot split to 10% heading.  This will suppress any sheath blight that is present and provide preventative control of kernel smut in addition to protecting yield loss from blast.  Because temperatures have been more moderate and rice was planted later than normal, we need to continue to scout late planted, pure-line rice such as ‘Rex’, ‘CL151’ and ‘CL152’.

Dr. Jeff Gore continues to report stink bug numbers are higher than normal, though they may be spreading out some with increased acres heading.  Stink bugs can cause yield and quality losses if left uncontrolled at above threshold numbers.  Even though we planted a lot of rice late, I believe the weather thus far has been favorable to promote good yields and quality.  It is good to protect this potential by controlling late season insects and diseases.

If you have any questions or concerns on your farm, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Tim Walker, Agronomist
By Tim Walker, Agronomist August 9, 2013 13:13
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