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PROFITABLE PRODUCTION STRATEGIES

Texas A&M entomologist gets a jump on planthopper Growers, millers continue quest to crack jasmine market

Real-world tests Trials compare water use of AWD to row rice

FEBRUARY 2018


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DEMAND LESS

VOLATILITY. COMMAND MORE

PERFORMANCE. Command® 3ME microencapsulated herbicide from FMC offers rice growers the most effective

foundation residual as the first line of defense against tough weeds in both conventional and Clearfield® rice systems. Its microencapsulated formulation ensures up to 80 percent less volatility over other clomazone formulations and is the weed management defense that works where you need it.

Visit FMCcrop.com or your FMC retailer to learn more.

Command 3ME microencapsulated herbicide qualifies for the exclusive agronomic and economic incentives of the FMC Freedom Pass program. Visit FMCAGUS.com/FMCFreedomPass or your authorized retailer for more details.

Always read and follow label directions. Command 3ME microencapsulated herbicide is not registered for sale or use in California. FMC and Command are trademarks of FMC Corporation or an affiliate. Clearfield is a registered trademark of BASF. ©2017 FMC Corporation. All rights reserved. 18-FMC-1865 12/17


February 2018

COLUMNS

www.ricefarming.com

Vol. 52, No. 3

COVER STORY

4 From the Editor

Starving kids in China spurred a hybrid rice evolution

5 USA Rice Update

Spreading the word globally

DEPARTMENTS 19 Industry News

Real-world tests

Rice business scene

23 Specialist Speaking

Start planning early so you can plant on time. ON THE COVER: Mississippi rice grower Curtis Berry compared alternate wetting and drying to row rice. Photo by Vicky Boyd

20

Large-scale trials compare water use of alternate wetting and drying with multiple inlet irrigation to row rice..

F E AT U R E S 6

2017 Rice Consultant Of The Year

Sharing knowledge

Colombian trip helps Texas A&M entomologist learn more about a rice planthopper and prepare in case it reappears in the South.

6

Robb Dedman

Robb Dedman of Rison, Arkansas, is the 2017 recipient of this esteemed award. Read more about Dedman on page 13.

FEBRUARY

GROWER ONE LLC PUBLISHING,

shoulder A cold k down temps knoc

2018

Look for the Soybean South supplement following page 24 in the the Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Texas versions of Rice Farming .

Freezing stink bugs redbanded

TWITTER: @RICEFARMING

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Tough to crack

10

Looking ahead

12

Half a world away

Making inroads into the imported jasmine market proves challenging for growers and millers.

8

Improved varieties highlight Louisiana producer meetings. Southeast Asia trip opens eyes to different perspectives, different farming practices.

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The hunt is on

18

New and improved

10

12

17

18

Weedy rice control remains elusive for California growers, but researchers continue search for potential herbicides. California Rice Research Foundation OKs two varieties for release.

FEBRUARY 2018

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From The

Editor

Starving kids in China spurred a hybrid rice evolution Growing up, our parents would scold us if we were picking at the food on our plate during dinner. “You better clean your plate. Think of the poor starving kids in China.” Back then, I just thought it was one of those sayings from the “Mother’s Handbook.” It wasn’t until I heard Mike Gumina’s presentation during a recent University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture webinar that I learned the famine was real and was the impetus behind China’s drive to develop hybrid rice. Between 15 million and 45 million people died of starvation in China between 1959-1961, says Gumina, global CEO of RiceTec Inc. ChiVicky Boyd na’s Professor Yuan Longping, who has been Editor compared to this country’s Norm Borlaug as a humanitarian, led the effort to find different strains of rice that when combined could produce heterosis. A fancy term for hybrid vigor, heterosis occurs when two individuals are crossbred, and the offspring are superior to either parent. China launched the first hybrid rice in 1974, with the first commercial-scale production in 1976. By 1991, 50 percent of Chinese rice was planted to hybrids. The evolution spilled into the Philippines and Vietnam in the late 1990s. What began with average yields of about 3.5 metric tons per hectare (3,117 pounds or 69 bushels per acre) in the early 1970s jumped to 15 metric tons per hectare (13,360 pounds or 297 bushels per acre) in 2015. Recently, Longping began selecting for salinity tolerance. “They can add to food security and bring acreage into production that previously wasn’t able to grow rice,” Gumina says. “He’s a bit of a super hero in China. Rice is so fundamental to the Chinese culture and was such a big part of that country’s recovery from the famine.” If this sounds similar to the hybrid rice evolution in the United States, it is, although our movement wasn’t prompted by widespread starvation. Instead, farmers needed higher yields to offset rising input costs and stagnant commodity prices. RiceTec’s first releases — XL6 and XL8 — had genetic backgrounds from China, the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and local lines. Although RiceTec’s early hybrids yielded well, the grain quality just wasn’t there, and the Houston-based company has continued to work on that. XL753 has set the standard for hybrids in the United States, and Gumina says RiceTec has some in the works that yield 10 percent more. Researchers at Texas A&M, the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University’s AgCenter also are working to develop hybrid long-grain rice. Wonder if parents today still use the same admonishment to try to get their kids to eat?

Vicky Send comments to: Editor, Rice Farming Magazine, 6515 Goodman Road, Box 360, Olive Branch, MS 38654. Call 901-767-4020 or email vlboyd@onegrower.com.

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RiceFaRming EDITORIAL/PRODUCTION Editor Vicky Boyd 209-505-3612 vlboyd@onegrower.com Copy Editor Amanda Huber ahuber@onegrower.com Art Director Ashley Kumpe akumpe@onegrower.com

ADMINISTRATION Publisher/Vice President Lia Guthrie 901-497-3689 lguthrie@onegrower.com Associate Publisher Carroll Smith 901-326-4443 csmith@onegrower.com Sales Manager Scott Emerson 386-462-1532 semerson@onegrower.com Circulation Manager Charlie Beek 847-559-7324 Production Manager Kathy Killingsworth 901-767-4020 kkillingsworth@onegrower.com For circulation changes or change of address, call 847-559-7578

ONE GROWER PUBLISHING, LLC Mike Lamensdorf President/Treasurer Lia Guthrie Publisher/Vice President ASSOCIATED PUBLICATIONS — One Grower Publishing LLC also publishes COTTON FARMING, THE PEANUT GROWER, SOYBEAN SOUTH and CORN SOUTH magazines. RICE FARMING (ISSN 0194-0929) is published monthly January through May, and Decem ber, by One Grower Publishing LLC, 6515 Goodman Road, Box 360, Olive Branch, MS 38654. Periodicals postage paid at Memphis, TN. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to OMEDA COMMUNICATIONS, CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT, P.O. BOX 1388, NORTHBROOK, IL 60065-1388. Annual subscriptions are $25.00. International rates are $55.00 Canada/ Mexico, $90.00 all other countries for Air-Speeded Delivery. (Surface delivery not available due to problems in reliability.) $5.00 single copy. All statements, including product claims, are those of the person or organization making the statement or claim. The publisher does not adopt any such statement or claims as its own and any such statement or claim does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher. RICE FARMING is a registered trademark of One Grower Publishing LLC, which reserves all rights granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in association with its registration.

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Partnership With Retailers Helps Horizon Ag Extend Support for Southern Rice Farmers gins and the challenge Fac aced with ever-changing er-changing technology technology advances, adv narrow margins armers are ev very season to o maximize maximiz their return eturn on investment, in rice farmers ar relying on their local retailer retailer more mor and more for or their support as a trusted trus ed business partner. r.

“Retailers etailers are ar facing increased eased competitive c pressures in a market mark with very little growth wth in net farm f income,” he explained. e “Overhead costs ts continue c to increase as

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Beckham, who joined Horizon Horiz Ag g last las year as part of the compan ompany’s renewed commitetailers, said the ment to t retailers, mo comes at a critical time for the industry. More move than ever, e , detailed planning has become bec a critical component omponent each season for f both retailers and their customers. cus

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One example ample of this is the new ne Provisia™ Rice System, em, ass which helps manage the weedy w rice and resistant gras complex x and will help rice ric farmers manage through ough weed resistance issues they the have Cl ce e Ri been facing in recent years, ears, he said. fie ar

“Our rrecent transition to a more retail-centric model has shift shifted our focus to the front ont lines of ffarmers’ contacts and servic services,” said Hugh Beckham, director dir of sales and mark marketing for Horizon Ag. “Retail etail field representatives are e the primary point of contact ontact for farmers in the Mid-South. Horizon Horiz Ag is committ ommitted to becoming a better er partner with our retail r partners, which brings us closer to t the farmers.”

ommendFrom the latest digital-acre technologies to recommendations tions for the best-suited ed crop cr inputs, retailers play play an important role in continuing ontinuing to t increase value on the farm. arm.

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Horizon Horiz Ag recognizes the value alue of that tha farmer/retailer r/ elationship and has made changes in its o rela elationship own go-tobusines business approach in the pastt y year to provide a higher lev vel of cooperation tion and support for f its rice variety retailers etailers and their ffarmers.

The new system is composed omposed of Provisia™ seed from om Horizon Horiz Ag containing the Provisia visia trait, tr which Soy beans allows farmers to safely ely apply Provisia™ herbicide from om BASF. BA Farmers will follow w a recommended rotation tion that tha includes soybeans, Provisia visia rice and the Clearfield® sysstem to control different ent types of red rice e and off-types of rice. ric “Our retail etail partners will be able to t help customers omers know kno where Provisia rice e fits in their operations oper and how w to t manage the herbicides and rotation r required to achieve the best results,”” said Beckham. Retailers also bring a systtems approach to o helping ric rice farmers armers manage their inputs and decision-making, he said. From rotation to o timing decisions, retailers retailers apply their knowledge from a broad br area to help with farmerarmerspecific, local management approaches. appr “Hori on Ag is foc sed on the s c

“Horizon Ag is focused on the success of our retail partners because retailers are focused on the farmers’ success.”

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Horizon Ag Varieties Advancing Southern Rice Production echnologies lik like the From seed featuring turing new ne technologies arieties Provisia™ Rice System to proven Clearfield® varieties ential and the that offer outstanding tanding performance perf potential quality needed to expand marketing opportunities, ancing the w way Horizon Ag is committ ommitted to advancing Southern farmers armers grow gr rice.

Horizon Ag g Clearfield varieties v CL153 3 and CL172 CL17 are expected to o be in high demand this season based on their on-f on-farm performance the pastt two tw years, which included outs outstanding tanding yields, quality and their resistance to o blas blast and lodging.

CL153 oducing the This year Horizon on A Ag joins BASF in introducing ers with another Provisia Rice System, em, pr providing growers eers that tool to manage weedy eedy rice, including volunteers th® and Beyond®, are resistant to o herbicides like lik Newpath® Be and also multi-herbicide-r multi-herbicide-resistant grasses. vailable The first Provisia variety ariety — PVL01 — will be av 18 season. from Horizon Ag in limited limit supplies in the 2018 ellent vigor and The semi-dwarf variety ariety features f excellent exceptional grain ain quality quality. e should In a typical rice-soybean ybean rotation, r Provisia rice e Provisia follow soybeans ybeans or c conventional rice, since Pr th herbicide. rice is susceptible eptible to t residual Newpath herbicide Because Provisia™ Pr visia™ herbicide does not ha have a residual component, Clearfield rice can follow, with soybeans ybeans planted before repea epeating the rotation. “In areas like e south L Louisiana, where weedy eedy rice ric has become ome a significant pr problem, there is a tremendous emendous need for a tool like e the Pr Provisia Rice System,”” said Dr. Dr Tim Walker, Horizon on A Ag general manager.. “Provisia “Pr technology can help us get back to those cleaner ricegrowing en environments onments that tha we’ve e’ve become accus customed cus omed

CL153 3 is a long-grain long-gr Horizon Ag g Clearfield variety v with exceptional seedling vigor and broad-spectrum oad-spectrum blast resistance for or races r common to o the southern Unit United States. It offers ers significantly better bett grain ain quality and ain size a larger grain siz than CL151 and produces less chalk. CL153 3 also demonstrated demons excellent ellent milling in 20 2017. Dow Brantley y, who farms with his family amily in England, Arkansas, ansas, planted plant CL153 in 2017 17 looking for f better yield potential ential and a stronger s stalk. He found ound that tha and more e during the 2017 20 growing season.

Horizon Horiz on Ag A Strip Trials – 2014-20 2014-2017 17 Grand Prairie

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“We “W were very ery pleased with CL153,” CL15 said Brantley. “It was as five fiv bushels better er than CL151 and, on our farm, f it it’ss going tto replace e CL151, which has been our primary variety ariety for f several years now.”

CL172 CL17

CL111 | CL151 | CL163 3 | CL272 Walker said he also expects xpects ffarmers will continue ontinue large percentage entage of their farms in proven, to plant a lar f pr en, consistent Clearfield varieties arieties like like CL111, CL151 and CL163, along with CL272, 2, a medium grain gr variety.

CL172 ansas release r that offers CL17 is a University of Arkansas solid performance potential, ential, outstanding outs grain quality perf and milling, resistance to blast, t, and good stalk s strength. r he maturity falls between een CL111 and CL151, and it dries The ma down quickly, similar to CL111.

“These Clearfield varieties arieties have ha played ed an important role on many farms over er the years y and will continue ontinue to t do so in 2018,” said Walk alker. “Growers know where they the fit and how to o manage them to t maximize their return eturn

“I’ve been gr wing CL172 ffor y “I’ve growing or a couple couple of years now and learning a lot more more about the variety v each year,” said Joe Mencer, a Lake Village illage, Arkansas, farmer. “One thing I’ve I’v found ound is it has really r good milling char characteristics and lower er chalk than most mos of the rice we’v e’ve grown the last several al y years. It’s good-quality milling rice.” ric

e ample of thatt is rice An example ric farmer Seth Br Brown, wn, who uses the earliness of CL111 to his advantage on his Cheneyville, Louisiana, ouisiana, ffarm. arm. CL111 is the earliest earlies maturity of any y Clearfield variety and offers excellent ellent ratoon crop performance e.

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on investment.”

Although he intends to o plant CL17 CL172 again this year ear based on its performanc ormance potential, Brown wn described CL111 as his “absolute favorite” based on its earliness, earlines vigor, grain ain quality and pr proven performance ov ver the years. For more e information inf about Horizon Ag varieties arieties for f 2018, go to

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Future Driven. Farmer Focused.

Blake Gerard, Rice Grower Cape Girardeau, MO

Staying ahead in today’s rice industry requires looking beyond next season. That’s why you need forward-looking partnerships that provide you with high-quality, high-performance varieties and innovative technologies so that you can be successful season after season. HorizonSeed.com Provisia™ is a trademark and Clearfield® is a registered trademark of BASF. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ©2018 Horizon Ag, LLC. All Rights Reserved. HORIZ-18026 RF-FEB-4PI


USA Rice

Update

Spreading the word globally USA Rice promotions in nearly 25 countries help tell the U.S. rice industry’s positive story.

By Betsy Ward

The right rice for the market USA Rice conducts more than 1,700 individual promotion activities in almost 25 countries, and we reach millions of consumers of U.S. rice through advertising, cooking demonstrations, chef competitions, recipe books, trade shows, social media and more. And we conduct these activities promoting the type and form of rice desired by each market. This includes milled rice for Japan or Haiti, rough rice in Mexico and Central America, and parboiled in Saudi Arabia. In every case, we tell the story of U.S.grown rice, but we use different parts of the story depending on what resonates strongest in each market. In Mexico, our top market by both volume and value, and in China, where we do not yet export rice but expect to soon, food safety is front and center. Consumers like to hear about the regulations we adhere to and the oversight bodies supervising our food production. In the United Kingdom, a solid and growing market for us, consistency, reliability and sustainability are front and center. And of course, the excellent quality of U.S.-grown rice is present in all of our promotions, esPHOTO COURTESY USA RICE

President and CEO USA Rice

I

think everyone in the rice industry knows we export about half of our crop annually, making us highly dependent on market conditions around the world. But the flip side is that we need to have a strong promotion presence in a lot of different markets. I am just back from meetings in Toronto, Canada, where USA Rice worldwide staff and industry representatives from Arkansas, California, Louisiana and Mississippi met to review our overseas promotion programs and plan for the coming year. The amount of work we do overseas is impressive, and I wanted to share some of it with you.

Attendee interest was strong at the USA Rice booth during the Food and Hotel China show recently in Shanghai. A chef prepared samples using five different types of U.S. rice from the South and California.

TWITTER: @RICEFARMING

pecially in places like Hong Kong, Jordan, South Korea and Taiwan. Canadian consumers appreciate all of those things but also like to hear about the health benefits of U.S. rice. We communicate this to them, along with messages about our great sustainability record and conservation efforts. And no story is complete without reminding consumers that our product is GMO free. Today’s U.S. rice farmers produce more crop on less land with less water and energy and without the aid of genetic modification. And that’s something of particular importance here at home but also in the European Union. Free trade is imperative Our promotion efforts around the world are certainly varied, and we work to ensure they are responsive to local interests, customs and needs. We are always looking for new markets for U.S. rice in even more countries than the ones I mentioned above. We also put resources against tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade that can harm our industry. Keeping open and expanding markets and finding new opportunities are of paramount importance to you and us. We share our success stories with the U.S. government, which helps fund our programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. We encourage them to continue to support our work and also to send the message to the Trump administration that agriculture creates a trade surplus. We need the continued support of FAS. And we need an administration that appreciates the value of agricultural trade and understands that absent good trade agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement or the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, we could be in real trouble. I left our planning meetings encouraged by the successes of the past year and excited for our programs going forward. I look forward to sharing more success stories in these pages in the months ahead. More importantly, I look forward to you seeing more of your rice finding devoted customers here and around the world, thanks in part to our efforts.  FEBRUARY 2018

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Sharing knowledge Colombian trip helps Texas A&M entomologist learn more about a rice planthopper and prepare in case it reappears in the South.

By Mo Way, Fernando Correa and Maribel Cruz

hoppers. I don’t know how it got to Texas, but I suspect it was carried here by storm(s) passing over Mexico or Central America. We have not observed it in Texas since 2015. In case it invades again, we have conducted some proactive research to learn more about its biology, management and damage potential. Recently I was invited to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia, to observe first-hand this insect and the virus it can carry that causes a severe rice disease called “hoja blanca.” Translated, that means white sheet. My trip and prior work on the rice delphacid were paid for by an Insect Vector Disease Grant from Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Key takeaways My gracious hosts at CIAT were Drs. Fernando Correa and Maribel Cruz, who have years of experience working with the insect and disease. Correa is a rice pathologist and leader of the rice program at CIAT. Cruz is a rice entomologist/breeder who works cooperatively with CIAT but is employed by the Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice, or FLAR.

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DR. M.O. WAY

T

he rice delphacid (Tagosodes orizicolus) is a serious rice pest in much of Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2015, the Texas ratoon crop was severely damaged by this plant-sucking insect, which is related to leaf-

Hoja blanca, marked by general leaf yellowing or bleaching and yellow streaks/stippling, is caused by a virus transmitted by the rice delphacid. In severe infestations, it can lead to significant yield losses.

Briefly, this is what I learned during my four days at CIAT:  1. The insect can cause hopperburn to rice plants — the result of direct feeding. This is what I observed in Texas.  2. During non-epidemic years, about 2 percent of the insects can vector the virus; 5 percent of insects with the virus RICEFARMING.COM


 Drs. Fernando Correa (with hat) and Maribel Cruz (with sunglasses) with colleagues at a commercial rice field near CIAT in Cali, Colombia. Note all the patches of yellow discoloration in the field caused by hoja blanca. Translated as "white sheet," the disease is caused by a virus transmitted by the rice delphacid.

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View of planthopper damage to a Texas ratoon crop in 2015.

COURTESY OF CIAT

A close up of a rice delphacid, known scientifically as Tagosodes orizicolus.

tial and are widely planted. Tolerance to the virus seems to be controlled by one or two genes.  13. Bluebonnet 50 is very susceptible and is used as a check in variety screening. Staying one step ahead Breeding for tolerance to the insect and disease has been ongoing at CIAT since 1974 when the disease and vector relationship was initially identified. The virus and insect have and can evolve to overcome tolerance; thus, this program has been absolutely essential to the rice farmers of Latin America where the insect and virus occur. I saw first-hand the tremendous amount of work and effort put forth by Correa, Cruz and their colleagues to develop tolerant varieties and effective integrated pest management programs to keep ahead of the insect and disease. I will continue to work with CIAT/ FLAR to be ready for the future. This is

CLIFF MOCK

is considered a high-risk level for an epidemic. Theoretically, up to 25 percent of the insect population can transmit the virus. Epidemics are becoming more frequent and severe in its native range.  3. Symptoms of hoja blanca include general leaf yellowing or bleaching and yellow streaks/stippling running the length of affected leaves; grains of affected plants become severely discolored.  4. The earlier the infestation, the more damage occurs, which can lead to drastic yield reductions including panicle blanking.  5. The virus multiplies within the insect as well as in the plant and is transmitted from the insect to the plant by feeding. The virus can also be transmitted from the mother to her eggs.  6. The virus is detrimental to the plant and the insect. Over time, the virus builds up in the insect population to a level high enough to reduce population density, which eventually ends the epidemic (epidemics are cyclical).  7. In Colombia, rice is planted and grown throughout the year, so there is continuous availability of host plants for the insect and virus. So it seems reasonable to assume that if it invades Texas again, ratoon cropping may exacerbate the problem.  8. Barnyardgrass is a good alternate host for the insect as well as some other grassy weeds.  9. Widespread and frequent use of insecticides can kill off natural enemies of the insect.  10. Insecticidal seed treatments with activity against the insect, such as imidacloprid, may delay infestations and reduce damage severity.  11. Use of pyrethroid insecticides may actually “flare” populations of the planthopper.  12. CIAT relies heavily on breeding for tolerance to the insect and disease. Tolerant varieties, such as Fedearroz 2000, also have good milling/yield poten-

CLIFF MOCK

PHOTO BY DR. M.O. WAY

Rice delphacid infested several fields of ratoon rice in Texas during 2015. It has not been found in the state since.

an excellent example of how cooperation with scientific colleagues in other countries can benefit the U.S. rice industry.  Dr. M.O. Way is a professor of entomology at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Beaumont, Texas. Dr. Fernando Correa is a phytopathologist and rice program leader at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, or CIAT, in Cali, Colombia. Dr. Maribel Cruz is a rice breeder and entomologist with the Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice, or FLAR, in Cali. FLAR and CIAT work closely together. FEBRUARY 2018

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Tough to crack Making inroads into the imported jasmine market proves challenging for growers and millers. By Vicky Boyd Editor

T

New Clearfield jasmine variety This season, Horizon Ag released CLJ01 to growers for seed production and limited commercial production. It was developed by former LSU AgCenter breeder Dr. Steve Linscombe and is based on the AgCenter’s Jazzman II long-grain aromatic. The new variety has the added benefit of being part of the Clearfield system, which allows growers to apply Newpath Read more about herbicide over the top to control California’s recently weeds, including red rice and released Calaroma-201 weedy rice, says Horizon Ag jasmine-type long-grain general manager Tim Walker. variety on page 18. CLJ01 also has better yield potential than Jazzman II. Although the CLJ01 aroma is slightly less than Jazzman II, it is still comparable to imported jasmine, Linscombe says. “The other thing about this rice (CLJ01) is it has extremely good grain appearance and very, very low chalk,” he says, adding the new release has even lower chalk than Cypress, an old variety coveted for grain quality. The kernel length of the new release averages 6.8 millimeters, which also is important, Linscombe says. “I think from a quality standpoint, which is extremely critical,

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COURTESY LSU AGCENTER

he United States imports about 400,000 metric tons of jasmine rice annually, a figure that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Fred Zaunbrecher. As a Louisiana producer who has grown the aromatic long-grain for several years, he is passionate about expanding its domestic consumption. “I’m just anxious to get something that will slow down our imports,” says Zaunbrecher, who farms with his brothers Phillip, Paul and Bill near Duson. He’s not alone, either. A number of other growers and millers have been trying to crack the tough jasmine market for decades with limited success. And they say they’ll continue with the goal of making at least a dent in imports. Growers and millers of the aromatic specialty rice point to the improved varieties being developed by domestic breeding programs as one reason for their optimism. In 2009, the Louisiana State University AgCenter program released Jazzman I as a replacement for Jasmine 85. Two years later, the AgCenter followed with the improved Jazzman II. Although Jazzman II had lower yields than its predecessor, it had improved aroma that also was more stable and slightly better grain quality.

Fenton, Louisiana, rice producer Jimmy Hoppe has been growing and packaging jasmine rice since the 1980s.

this is going to fit the bill,” he says. “It’s not going to be easy, but I think we need to do it in baby steps. Marketing challenges Many growers and millers over the years have learned the nuances of how to manage the aromatic varieties in the field and how to handle them at the drier and mill to maintain their fragrance. Still, specialty aromatic rices — which include Jasmine and basmati-types — comprise only about 1 percent of the overall U.S. rice production. Much of the jasmine imported into the United States is purchased by Southeast Asian immigrants or Asian Americans who RICEFARMING.COM


grew up eating rice at least three times per day, says Mike Martin, co-owner of Martin Rice Co. in Bernie, Missouri. They don’t buy it in 1- or 2-pound bags but instead in 25-plus pound sacks. As a result, most of the jasmine he sells is in 50-pound sacks. Over the roughly 18 years he has been growing jasmine, Martin says he has had Thai immigrants now living in the United States visit the family farm. “‘This takes me back to my childhood and running through the farms as a child,’” Martin says they told him. “They may want to buy something that says ‘product of Thailand’ because it reminds them of home.” Some of the other marketing challenges are based on perception, he says. “It’s pretty hard to change in the consumer’s mind,” he says. “To be jasmine, they think it has to come from Thailand. So we have to go back to basic marketing and figure out how do we differentiate ourselves? That’s the tough hurdle to jump. It’s a battle we’ll continue to fight.” He likens it to his experiences with Arborio rice. Although his family could produce the specialty rice that independent third parties judged to be as good or better than Italian product, he says buyers and consumers still believed that only Italy can produce quality Arborio.

Although still small, an increasing amount of shelf space in grocery stores is being devoted to U.S.-grown jasmine. VICKY BOYD

TWITTER: @RICEFARMING

COURTESY LSU AGCENTER

“I think the critical thing for us is to put the whole story behind the U.S. farmers — it’s U.S. grown and connects us to the U.S. farmer."

Several Louisiana companies contract with growers to produce LSU AgCenter’s Jazzman II jasmine rice.

The first step in swaying traditional jasmine consumers is to have them try U.S.-grown jasmine, Martin says. With lower costs of production in Southeast Asia, imported jasmine frequently comes in at bargain prices. To capture even part of the market, he says U.S. producers will have to provide consumers more value — in the form of better quality and food safety — for their dollar. Taking baby steps Jimmy Hoppe, a Fenton, Louisiana, producer who has been growing and packaging jasmine-type varieties since the 1980s, has seen the quality of university aromatic varietal releases improve over time. With the proper growing practices and drying programs, U.S.-grown jasmine is very similar to that of imports, he says. “With the development of Jazzman II, certainly we have an opportunity not only here,” says Hoppe, referring to the variety

released by the Louisiana State University AgCenter. “Arkansas is working on one, and California is working on a variety that has jasmine characteristics. It’s a wide-open market, but we have to make some inroads.” As an example, he cites the success of Jazzmen Rice, a New Orleans company that brands and markets LSU-developed Jazzman varieties. Hoppe says he remains upbeat, especially with changing tastes as the fourth, fifth and sixth generations of original Southeast Asian immigrants now are entering the buying sector. “With these generations as we get further away from their origin, I think we have an opportunity to make more of an impact,” he says. “My little business continues to grow, and I just think there’s an opportunity for it to grow a lot bigger. But it takes time and money. In the last five years, the market has continued to grow. I continue to move rice, and there are more and more people who get it.” The evolution won’t happen overnight, either. Martin says he’d be happy if the U.S. industry could take away even 100,000 metric tons from the imported jasmine market. Zaunbrecher, who plans to plant the new Clearfield jasmine this season, says the industry also has to continue to educate consumers. “I think the critical thing for us is to put the whole story behind the U.S. farmers — it’s U.S. grown and connects us to the U.S. farmer,” he says.  FEBRUARY 2018

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Looking ahead By Bruce Schultz

A

lthough the 2018 season marks the first commercial plantings of a new herbicide-tolerant Provisia variety, work already is progressing to improve the line. In a series of recent Louisiana grower meetings, Louisiana State University AgCenter rice breeder Adam Famoso discussed the work to develop not just new herbicide-tolerant lines but also other varieties and hybrids. Crop management practices and the economic outlook also were highlighted. The new line, PVL08, has improved yield in both the first and second crop compared with PVL01, the first line released. Getting a new conventional long-grain variety is a priority for the breeding program, he says. The hybrid breeding program has several promising lines, and increasing and testing a number of hybrids are priorities. The new Clearfield Jazzman variety, CLJ01, released this year, has higher yield potential than Jazzman II with excellent grain quality, including low chalk, Famoso says. Kellogg recently tested the variety CL272, a Clearfield medium grain, with favorable results for use in the company’s products. But more tests are required. “We just got word yesterday that their first plant run was positive,” Famoso said in Evangeline Parish. Tips for Provisia rice AgCenter agronomist and Extension rice specialist Dustin Harrell says Provisia will help return some rice acreage to production after being plagued with Clearfield-resistant offtypes and weedy rice. Provisia varieties have the distinction of having a lighter green color, regardless of the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied. Nitrogen in the range of 150-180 pounds per acre will be needed, Harrell says. AgCenter weed scientist Eric Webster says Provisia herbicide will be the best grass herbicide for rice. It can cause slight injury to young rice, especially if the application is followed by cloudy conditions, but the crop will recover. He cautions farmers about tankmixing other herbicides with Provisia, recommending against Grasp and Regiment. “Probably the worst thing you can tankmix is propanil,” Webster says. Provisia use should be limited to fields with bad herbicide-resistance problems.

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VICKY BOYD

Improved varieties highlight Louisiana rice producer meetings PVL08 (front left), a new Provisia line under development by the LSU AgCenter, has improved yield potential compared to PVL01.

“I would put it on my worst fields,” Webster says. Pest management tactics AgCenter plant pathologist Don Groth says fungicide research at the Rice Research Station is showing good potential for a ratoon crop treated for disease. The best results are from an application made five weeks after first-crop harvest. However, only one fungicide is labeled for ratoon crop application, and stubble management can be more effective and economical. AgCenter entomologist Blake Wilson says targeting adult rice water weevils with an application of a pyrethroid insecticide can be less expensive than using a seed treatment, but a second application may be required. And the pyrethroid option has the disadvantage of being incompatible with crawfish. Dermacor seed treatments provide excellent control of both weevils and stem borers, Wilson says. But widespread use of this product has led to concerns about development of insecticide resistance. Diversification of management strategies, including the use of alternative seed treatments, is needed to delay resistance and prolong the effectiveness of seed treatments. Some Texas farmers have been mixing pyrethroids with a fungicide to treat rice for borer insects, he says. ‘A lot of uncertainty’ AgCenter economist Mike Deliberto says a 700,000-acre decline in harvested rice acres across the rice industry last year helped boost prices. U.S. exports were down in 2016 by 15 percent, but imports increased by 3.8 percent, mostly from India and Thailand, he says. Increased export demand is needed to support prices long-term, but currently tight supplies are supporting prices now. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects a long-grain price of $11.60 to $12.60 per hundredweight, or about $19.60 a barrel. The price is dependent on the amount of acreage planted in Arkansas this year, Deliberto says. “The only thing certain is there’s going to be a lot of uncertainty,” he says.  Bruce Schultz is an assistant communications specialist with the LSU AgCenter in Crowley, Louisiana. RICEFARMING.COM


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Half a world away Southeast Asian trip opens eyes to different perspectives, different farming practices. By Robert Petter

Small-scale farms At one point in Vietnam, I was able to finally get my feet in a rice field where I met a local farm lady, and we had a good time trying to talk to each other about her operation. Needless to say, communication was challenging. But I did show her video and pictures of our rice farming operation here in Arkansas and gave her a USA Rice hat to repay her for her time and patience with me.

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y wife, Karen, and I are just back from a vacation, not a business trip, on a Mekong River cruise through Cambodia. We also spent a week in northern Vietnam before the cruise and a few days in Ho Chi Minh City, post-cruise. As we were preparing to leave home a couple weeks ago, people here would ask about our vacation plans. When we told them where we were headed, everybody posed one of three questions: Are we going there on purpose? Are we crazy? And why? When people in the United States hear "Southeast Asia," the first thought is of the Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War that occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and lasted 20 years from 1955 to 1975. However, the local people we met on our trip had a very different sentiment. As they would explain, both countries are very proud of their history and culture. But the people in Southeast Asia feel that that war was only a few years out of thousands of years of their history. Every individual we encountered had a story about how they were affected by the war, but they would quickly point out that they are trying to recover and move forward. No one we met was angry or upset at the United States, and all said it was time to move on. Everyone we had contact with throughout our twoand-a-half-week trip was friendly, accepting and happy, and at no time did we feel threatened or in any kind of danger. As far as their rice, the Mekong Delta rice-growing region is absolutely beautiful! The small paddy fields with various crops in different stages of maturity present a colorful, welcoming, pleasant picture. We did see numerous workers in the rice fields, but since we were traveling with other folks who aren’t U.S. rice farmers, I didn’t feel I could interrupt the trip to stop and visit with the local farmers as often as I would have liked.

Arkansas rice farmer Robert Petter (far right) recently visited Southeast Asia. He gave the rice farmer (middle) a USA Rice hat to thank her for her time.

Most of the crops we saw were very clean, even and looked really good. We also saw several fields being harvested, some with machinery and others with hand-held sickles. From one end of Vietnam to the other, everyone dried their rice in the sun, either on or near the road, turning it several times for even drying. Most rice is shipped in small wooden barges that carry 200 tons. In Cambodia, we had the opportunity to visit two schools. At the school in the village of Koh Chen, we gave the students leftover USA Rice giveaway bags from years past. I had packed these out-of-date bags in my luggage to share with the students to use as book bags or for their parents to haul groceries. They were a huge success! I also donated 1,000 Riceland Food pencils to the school. Our guide explained how valuable a pencil was to each family as it enabled their children to participate in class. The guide said one pencil was the equivalent of one chicken. What we take for granted Learning how one simple pencil could change a child’s life made me realize just how much we, in our part of the world, take for granted. The rural areas we visited on this trip didn’t have any of the modern conveniences we can’t seem to live without. It gave me a real appreciation for how fortunate I am to live where I do and, as a farmer, to have access to the latest equipment and technology that make my job a lot easier than it would be using a sickle and a drying rake.  Robert Petter is a rice producer near Devalls Bluff, Arkansas. This article first appeared in the USA Rice Daily. RICEFARMING.COM


Robb Dedman


PHOTOS BY CARROLL SMITH

Robb Dedman goes over his recommendations with rice farmer Jim Whitaker. “My farmers know when I make recommendations, I really want them carried out about 30 minutes ago,” Dedman says. “When farmers are timely and efficient, my style and approach work well, and they get the most out of their operations.”

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here I grew up in Pine Bluff, it was cool to be a cotton scout for the University of Arkansas in the summertime,” says Arkansas consultant Robb Dedman. “When I was a senior in high school, I applied for a scouting job with UA, but the program was full.” Although that door had closed, another one opened when Dr. Nathan Slaton asked Dedman to work with him. At the time, Slaton was the Extension agent for Jefferson County. “He gave me the chance to be a rice scout, and rice soon became my passion,” Dedman says. “In looking back, everything kind of fits, considering I lived in Stuttgart until I was 7 years old. As a young kid, my backyard was a rice field.”

The Arkansas consultant graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1995 with a bachelor of science degree in agronomy and then worked for a short time in the poultry business. He soon came home to Pine Bluff and worked in retail at a farm store. In 2002, Dedman had the opportunity to become an independent consultant and started Ultimate Ag Consulting Inc. “I learned a lot from my good friends and consultants Jack Haney, Tracy Welch and Keith Shelton,” he says. “I also learned a lot from experience — the school of hard knocks — from being with farmers out in the field.” Today, Dedman primarily works in the Delta area of southeast Arkansas — Desha, Chicot, Ashley and Drew counties. In addition to rice, he consults on soybeans, corn and wheat and provides soil sampling and data management along with various other services. COVER PHOTO BY VICKY BOYD

“For example, I also analyze yield maps, work with GPS on the tractors and help my farmers set up their planters in the spring and their combines at harvest,” Dedman says. A Day In The Life During the busy growing season, Dedman’s day starts off early. During his 50-mile commute to the field, he’s on the phone talking to his farmers. “We’re discussing things like herbicide plans, fertility plans and what’s going on with the crop,” he says. “My driving time provides an opportunity to take care of this type of business and visit with the farmer.” Dedman says he tries to quit about 6 p.m., but that doesn’t happen very often. He usually knocks off at dark and has that same ride back to the house. Most of the time, he is again talking to his farmers and recapping what he observed.


“My farmers expect a lot out of me, and I expect a lot out of them,” Dedman says. “They know when I make recommendations, I really want them carried out about 30 minutes ago. When farmers are timely and efficient, my style and approach work well, and they get the most out of their operations.” Challenges And Rewards Dedman says one of the biggest challenges consultants face today is managing the weed spectrum and battling herbicide-resistant weeds. “I am grateful for the effective rice herbicides we have in our arsenal and especially grateful for the new ones being brought to market to help combat resistance issues,” he says. Another challenge is maintaining sustainability while staying in tune with consumers. “Consultants have to make the recommendations,” he says. “If we are trying to conserve water, then we have to make waterconserving recommendations. If a consumer is looking for a sustainably grown, environmentally friendly product, our recommendations have to reflect that as well. Consultants have to be focused on both farmer needs and consumer desires.” Dedman says a consultant’s ultimate reward at the end of the year is seeing the smile on a farmer’s face. Other rewards are harvesting high yields and having a positive effect on the environment. “A good example is a project we are conducting on Jim Whitaker’s farm,” he says. “We have a three-year average of pumping less than 12 acre-inches of water to produce a rice crop. The estimated average for Arkansas is 35 acre-inches. It’s a good feeling to know that some of the recommendations I make are creating an efficiency for the farmer and helping the environment.” Dedman also appreciates the opportunities provided by hybrid rice and improved varietal performance that help producers remain profitable. And advancements in precision agriculture allow him to study maps and create data sets to fi nd small problems in fields and correct them. Communicate, Get Involved Dedman is not “an island unto himself.” He believes in communicating not only with his farmers but also with other consultants, university and industry personnel, and members and staff of organizations such as USA Rice. “I call some of my consultant friends every day, sometimes several times

For the past 10 years, Dedman has consulted on rice and other crops for Arkansas farmers Jim Whitaker (left) and his brother, Sam.

VICKY BOYD

Arkansas farmer Matt Miles (left) farms with his son, Layne. Matt says, “Robb turned our farm into an innovative and profitable operation.”

Kudos From The Field “Robb uses a ‘total approach’ consulting method that keeps him involved throughout the year and enables our farm to stay profitable. He is dedicated and cares about our farm as if it were his own. Robb also is a devoted husband, father and friend.” — Jim Whitaker, Arkansas farmer ww “Robb is very knowledgeable about the newest technologies and techniques. He provides ultimate service, which results in our growing top-yielding crops for a net return. In today’s environment, that is tough.” — Matt Miles, Arkansas farmer ww “Robb is very meticulous about his work and does not leave any detail to question. He pushes his growers to try new technologies and achieve maximum yields while minimizing the impact on the environment.” — Brian Ottis, RiceTec ww “Robb is not just a consultant but is a major team member who goes way beyond just providing bug counts. Because of his outstanding efforts, this farm is one of the most improved, profitable and valuable farms we manage.” — Ted L. Glaub, Glaub Farm Management


PHOTOS COURTESY ROBB DEDMAN

A graduate of the University of Arkansas, Robb Dedman and his wife, Jennifer, pose in front of Old Main — the oldest building on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville. a day,” he says. “We ask each other’s advice about problems we are seeing in the field. I often get help from university people in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. And I also lean on company reps to find answers. “If I could give advice to young people who are contemplating a career in consulting, I would say, ‘Make sure you are passionate about it, learn more than what’s in the books and get involved with groups that influence the industry. Don’t just sit on the sidelines.’ “As a member of the Rice Leadership Development Program 2013-15 class and the 2015 International Rice Leadership class that visited Thailand, I highly recommend applying for the program through USA Rice.” The Arkansas consultant also believes in reciprocating. When he has success even with something as simple as a weed control approach or a fertility program, he wants to tell the rest of the industry about it. “Some people may call this bragging,” Dedman says. “I call it being an open book. We face a lot of challenges in our industry. If someone finds something that works, they need to share it with others. We are all in this together.” ‘Small Piece Of The Puzzle’ When Dedman learned he had been chosen as the 2017 Rice Consultant of the Year, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, RebelEX herbicide and Rice Farming, he says he was stunned, humbled and honored. The award recognizes the dedication, leadership and innovation of this crucial segment of the U.S. rice industry. “The first thing that went through my mind are all my consultant friends I consider to be some of the best,” he says. “My career has been a fun trip, and I have had some successes. But I am just a small piece of the puzzle. I owe a lot to the consultants I collaborate with, my farmers and the men and women

Robb Dedman likes to spend quality with his sons during the off-season. He and his older son, Caleb, enjoy hunting together. On the opening morning of deer season this past November, Caleb shows off the 8-point deer he bagged. Dedman says his younger son, Dylan, “fell in love with football” after playing for the fifth and sixth grade Rison Pee-Wee League for the first time in 2017. Dedman and Dylan are all smiles after Dylan’s team won its Super Bowl game following a near-perfect season.

Robb Dedman At A Glance Background w Raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he attended school at Watson Chapel. w Graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1995. w Earned a bachelor of science degree in agronomy. w Established Ultimate Ag Consulting Inc. in 2002. w Consults on rice, soybeans, corn and wheat in the Delta area of southeast Arkansas — Desha, Chicot, Ashley and Drew counties. Family Life Dedman and his wife, Jennifer, reside in Rison, Arkansas. They have two sons: Caleb Ryan, 15, and Dylan Everett, 11. who work on the farms, and the industry people who support me. The honor really goes to all of them.” Dedman is also grateful for the support of his family — his wife, Jennifer, and sons Caleb and Dylan. “I’ve been married to Jennifer for 20 years in May,” he says. “I was in the ag industry when we married, and I am still here today. I can never give her enough credit for her support and caring. And during the busy season, I take the boys to the field with me every chance I get. My job as a consultant is demanding so every minute we spend together as a family is quality time.” It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Robb Dedman as the 2017 Rice Consultant of the Year.

S P O N S O R E D

B Y

® Dow Diamond and RebelEX are trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. RebelEX is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. ©2018 Dow AgroSciences LLC


The hunt is on Weedy rice control remains elusive for California growers, but researchers continue to search for potential herbicides. By Vicky Boyd Editor

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Seed survival in the soil Researchers also have identified five different biotypes that have different visual identifying characteristics. But all of them have red bran, are lighter green in TWITTER: @RICEFARMING

the field. They can then apply a burndown herbicide or use tillage to kill the plants. Biotypes 1, 3 and 4, on the other hand, have high dormancy. Even with flushing, Brim-DeForest says only about 5 percent of the seeds will germinate, and seeds may remain viable in the soil for at least 10 years.

VICKY BOYD

he California rice industry continues work to contain small, spotty infestations of red rice before the pesky weed can become endemic as it has in the South. At the same time, researchers are working to identify traits that might aid management as well as genetic fingerprinting that might shed light on the weed's origins, says Whitney Brim-DeForest, a University of California Cooperative Extension farm adviser for Yuba and Sutter counties. She provided research updates at a recent UCCE winter grower meeting in Colusa. The battle against weedy rice in the state dates back to at least 2006, when farm advisers identified four infested fields in two counties. Between 2008 and 2015, several suspect samples were submitted to the Rice Experiment Station for testing. In 2016, the number of infested fields exploded, totaling 60 and covering about 10,000 acres. Among the positives were eight seed fields, she says. All were rejected because of the presence of weedy rice. Laboratory technicians continue to process samples from the 2017 growing season, and the number of infested acres is likely to change, Brim-DeForest says. Based on non-scientific electronic polls of those attending UCCE’s 2016 winter grower meetings, 49 percent said they saw weedy rice before 2016. In addition, 57 percent said they hadn’t reported a suspected infestation to UCCE, and 40 percent said they suspected they might have weedy rice in a field.

Whitney Brim-DeForest displayed the five different biotypes of weedy rice at the California Rice Experiment Station Field Day in 2017.

color and are taller than the medium-grain Calrose varieties grown in California. During the 2016 fall, researchers sampled 10 infested fields to determine weedy rice seedbank populations, since all of the biotypes shatter easily. They collected 34 soil cores every 20 feet along a transect. In a Sutter County field with biotype 1, 6 percent of the samples contained weedy rice seeds, Brim-DeForest says. Based on 2.3 seeds per square foot, that equates to 9,500 seeds per acre. In another Sutter County field with biotype 5, 42 percent of the samples had weed rice seeds. That’s 39.5 seeds per square foot or 165,000 seeds per acre. But these numbers don’t tell the entire picture. Biotypes 2 and 5 have low dormancy, meaning a large portion of the seeds will germinate once growers flush

In search of a control Researchers continue to look for herbicides that will kill the weedy rice without damaging the cultivated rice. Although growers in the South have the Clearfield and the newly launched Provisia systems to manage weedy rice, they are not registered for use in California. As a result, researchers in California looked at treatments of already registered herbicides one day and 10 days after planting to see if they had an effect on weedy rice. None provided control, Brim-DeForest says. GoalTender herbicide, part of the experimental ROXY herbicide rice system, applied to two-leaf rice controlled biotypes 1-4 but was ineffective against biotype 5, she says. Oxyfluorfen, the active ingredient in GoalTender, is not registered for use on rice. The researchers also examined spot spraying five other herbicides alone and with crop oil concentrate at rice tillering. Of those, paraquat, glufosinate and clethodim controlled all biotypes. “Currently, none of these herbicides are registered (for use on rice), but there are several spot-spray herbicides that the California Rice Commission will be pursuing,” Brim-DeForest says. 

For more information on weedy rice in California, visit www. caweedyrice.com FEBRUARY 2018

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New and improved California Rice Research Foundation OKs two varieties for release. By Kent McKenzie

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VICKY BOYD

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he California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation Board of Directors recently released two new rice varieties for California producers along with approved names. They come from the breeding program of the Rice Experiment Station near Biggs, California. Experimental 12Y3097, now called M-210, is an early maturing U.S. mediumgrain, temperate japonica Calrose-type. Its main attribute is the Pi-b gene that gives it resistance to both blast races observed in California. This variety is a selection from a DNA marker-assisted backcrossing project started in 2005 by RES rice pathologist Jeffrey Oster, now retired. He sought to develop isolines of M-206 that contained individual blast-resistance genes from various germplasm sources. Isolines of a cultivar are genetically identical except for one different gene. Oster made seven backcrosses of M-206, California’s most widely grown variety, to an RES short-grain line that derived its blast resistance from a Korean variety, Daegwanbyeo. Dr. Cynthia Andaya from the station’s DNA Lab conducted the DNA marker testing at each backcross to select those seedlings with the Pi-b resistance gene. Dr. “Butz” Andaya made the selections and moved this line through the breeding program to its release. M-210 is essentially M-206 with a blast-resistance gene. It is being released as a replacement for M-208, which has resistance to only one of two known blast races in California. Overall grain yields of 12Y3097 in 2013-2017 University of California Cooperative Extension Statewide Tests were 9,300 pounds per acre, which is a 4.4 percent advantage over M-208. It heads earlier than M-208 and similarly to M-206. California’s climate is not

M-210 is a newly released medium grain from the California Rice Experiment Station that has resistance to the two races of blast found in the state.

conducive to blast disease development; however, our varieties are very susceptible to blast, and it can occur in certain fields, areas and years. Jasmine-type long grain Experimental 15Y84 is an early maturing jasmine-type long grain that has been named “Calaroma-201.” It is the first of this market type released by the RES and was develop by Dr. Farman Jodari, RES longgrain project leader who retired in 2017. It has a complicated pedigree that includes a high-yielding Chinese variety, a mutant jasmine line developed and released by USDA-ARS/University of Arkansas (JES), and one from the RES. Calaroma-201 has shown a high yield potential in statewide testing with an average of 9,450 pounds per acre across 22 experiments compared to 9,310 and 8,890 pounds per acre for L-206 and A-202, respectively. In three years of testing, this new line had an average yield advantage of 6.3 percent and 1.5 percent over A-202 and L-206,

respectively. Calaroma-201 heads five days later and is slightly taller than L-206. The area of adaptation is similar to L-206, but it is not recommended for colder locations. Calaroma-201 has low amylose content and low gel type, so it cooks softer than typical U.S. long grains and is more like imported jasmine rice. Market quality evaluations have been positive. Foundation seed of M-210 and Calaroma-201 will be allocated to commercial seed growers for planting this spring. These varieties will be grown only as a class of certified seed in California, and applications are being made for protection under the U.S. Plant Variety Protection Act and U.S. utility patents. Testing, development and release of these varieties was made possible by grower funding to the California Rice Research Board.  Dr. Kent McKenzie is a rice breeder and director of the California Rice Experiment Station in Biggs. He may be reached at KMcKenzie@crrf.org. RICEFARMING.COM


Industry News

The Pinnacle Rice Cooperative was recently launched to increase member returns by providing liquidity, quality and logistical support to the California rice industry. Calrose Co-op, a grower-owned cooperative comprising rice farmers throughout Northern California, was folded into the Butte County Rice Growers Association to create Pinnacle, BUCRA’s new marketing arm. Pinnacle’s membership will be expanded beyond BUCRA’s headquarters in Richvale to include all of the state’s rice-growing regions. The new marketing division, which will be based in Chico, will provide a hybrid model that offers both pool and cash marketing services to its members, according to a news release. Although Pinnacle is a division of BUCRA, Pinnacle members don’t have to buy chemicals, fertilizer or dry their rice through the Butte County co-op. The marketing arm will be managed by Stuart Hoetger and Logan Wilson, while Carl Hoff, president and CEO of BUCRA, and the BUCRA board will provide strategic oversight and guidance. Founded in 1914 by 30 rice farmers, the Butte County co-op has grown to more than 400 growers with three main business lines: seed, supplies and drying/storage.

Arkansas task force adopts voluntary field burning rules

An Arkansas task force has finalized voluntary smoke management guidelines for agricultural burning. The measures are designed to address public health concerns about smoke caused when farmers burn row-crop field residue in the fall. Among the task force were members of the Arkansas Rice Federation, Arkansas Soybean Association, Ag Council of Arkansas and the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation, according to an article the USA Rice Daily e-newsletter. Advisers included representatives from the Arkansas Agriculture Department, Arkansas Forestry Commission, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. After approval by the respective boards, the guidelines will become official and be made public. TWITTER: @RICEFARMING

Stakeholders will spend this coming year educating agricultural burners about the recommended steps to take before they light the field. Farmers also are encouraged to call 800-830-8015 to report their crop burn and to check for favorable weather conditions.

During both days, Mid-South landgrant universities, the Extension Service and state agencies will have special educational exhibits on the Mezzanine Level of the Convention Center. For more information or to view the complete agenda, visit the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show online at www.farmandgin show.org.

Louisiana, Texas rice conservation proposals receive $6 million

VICKY BOYD

New California rice marketing co-op launched

The Mid-South Farm and Gin Show is fun for the young and young at heart.

Plan to attend this year’s Mid-South Farm & Gin Show

The Mid-South Farm and Gin Show, planned for March 2-3 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee, features a host of educational seminars and workshops as well as the ever-popular trade show. Carl Brothers, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Riceland Foods of Stuttgart, Arkansas, will speak on the rice and wheat outlook at the Ag Update Meeting. It begins at 8:30 a.m., March 2, in the Lobby meeting room. Doors to the trade show open at 9 a.m. each morning, with doors closing at 5 p.m., March 2, and 4:30 p.m., March 3. Brock & Associates will conduct an indepth grain marketing workshop, beginning at 1:30 p.m., March 2, in the lower level of the Cotton Mezzanine. Seating is limited, and the workshop requires registration by calling 800-558-3431. Milo Hamilton, co-founder and senior agricultural economist at Firstgrain Inc., will conduct a special rice marketing seminar at 1:30 p.m., March 3, in the Sultana Room, Mezzanine Level.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has approved nearly $6 million for two Regional Conservation Partnership Program proposals focused on water and habitat on Texas and Louisiana rice lands. The two proposals were led by Ducks Unlimited and supported by more than 17 collaborating partners, according to a news release. Rice fields provide critical habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. USA Rice and Ducks Unlimited formalized the collaborative Rice Stewardship Partnership in 2013 to sustain the future of water, working rice lands and waterfowl in the United States. Texas and Louisiana provide continentally important habitat for waterfowl in two of DU’s top conservation priorities – the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. The Cultivating Water Conservation on Working Lands project will restore cypress-tupelo brakes in seven parishes in Louisiana. By restoring brakes on working agricultural lands to capture surface water and storm runoff, farmers can improve water quality and wildlife habitat while reducing pumping costs and groundwater use. This project will be supported with $450,000 in RCPP funding. The Gulf Coast Water and Wildlife Conservation project will help rice producers in Louisiana and Texas conserve natural resources while having long-term positive impacts on their bottom line. Project partners will assist NRCS and Texas River Authorities in Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts and address water quantity and habitat concerns in the Gulf Coast. It will be supported with $5.43 million in RCPP funding. FEBRUARY 2018

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Real-world tests Trials compare row rice to alternate wetting and drying with multiple-inlet irrigation. By Vicky Boyd Editor

C

urtis Berry has long-standing convictions about protecting the environment and natural resources. After hearing and reading about two irrigation systems with water-savings potential — alternate wetting and drying and row rice — the Tunica, Mississippi, producer decided to put them to the test on his farm in 2017. Mississippi State University also approached Berry last season about doing just that with an on-farm trial that involved AWD using multiple-inlet irrigation compared to row rice, also known as furrow-irrigated rice. As a member of the Yazoo Mississippi Delta Joint

Water Management District board, Berry says he also feels a need to lead by example. “We’ve been aware of these water issues for a long time, and I want to be part of the solution and try some of these conservation techniques,” he says. Berry isn’t the only one comparing the two systems. University of Arkansas rice Extension agronomist Jarrod Hardke started trials at Pine Tree and Keiser Division of Agriculture research stations in 2017. The research involves large blocks of about one-third acre each aiming to maximize AWD and row-rice management. “It was designed to be of sufficient size to mimic growers’ fields,” he says.

University of Arkansas rice Extension agronomist Jarrod Hardke started trials at Keiser (pictured) and Pine Tree Division of Agriculture research stations in 2017. The research involves large blocks of about one-third acre each comparing AWD to row rice.

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At the same time, those wells in the 1980s had a permitted volume of 900,000 acre-feet per year. An acre-foot, 328,000 gallons, is the amount of water one to two families of four use in a year. Today, 19,400 wells are permitted to extract 5.5 million acre-feet annually. AWD vs. row rice Rather than keeping a 2- to 4-inch flood on rice during most of the growing season, AWD involves letting the flood naturally subside to where the water is at or just below the soil surface before reflooding. The system also relies on collapsible poly tubing and multiple-inlet rice irrigation to reapply water to the field as quickly as possible.

VICKY BOYD

A finite resource Berry farms in an area overlying the Mississippi River Valley Alluvial Aquifer. 2016 was the first season that Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality implemented a voluntary program recommending growers have flow meters on at least 10 percent of wells pumping from the aquifer. That’s an increase from the 5 percent voluntary participation the department set in 2014. As part of the program, growers also were requested to report annual meter readings. In the 1980s, fewer than 3,000 wells were issued permits in the Delta, according to MDEQ figures. Today, that number is more than 19,000.

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Based on MSU research trials conducted between 2014 and 2016, AWD can save growers up to 30 percent of water compared to conventional flood and without affecting yields. In the end, growers may save up to $50 per acre using AWD, according to the research. Row rice is planted on beds and furrow irrigated much like other row crops. Many row rice growers block the ends of the rows, allowing the water to back up into about the bottom third of their fields. This results in a drier top third, with a flooded bottom third. In a 160-acre field, Berry devoted 40 acres to row rice with the remaining 120 put into AWD. The row rice was planted on 30inch beds. 2017 marked the first time he had used multiple-inlet rice irrigation. Both fields were planted to the same hybrid — XP753. He also applied Roundup and Command at planting, followed by ½ pound of Facet and 1 quart Prowl preflood to each field. MSU research associate Dan Roach had installed moisture sensors and told Berry when to reapply the flood after allowing the water to dissipate in the AWD field. About six weeks into the season-long trial, Berry was already favoring one system. But he withheld final judgment until after harvest. “It’s very interesting and I’ve already learned a lot through the first months of the crop and I will learn more,” Berry said early in the season. “But I like what I’m seeing with AWD. From what I’m seeing, row rice wouldn’t work for me as I’m going to incur more chemical expense.” In his row-rice field, Berry had to apply mid-season Sharpen because Palmer pigweed was starting to break throughout without the flood to suppress it. He also had increased management because of the regular irrigations needed. Berry says he ended up pumping only slightly less water in his AWD field than he typically would for permanent flood but that was because of timely rains. “As soon as we were going to flood, we got a rain that was pretty significant,” he says. Yields in the row-rice field were off about 15 percent compared to his conventional flood fields. Berry says he plans to repeat the side-by-side trial in 2018. This time, though, he will put it on heavier soils that won’t dry out as quickly between row-rice irrigations. He’s already identified two adjacent 40-acre fields. Berry’s experience with AWD also has prompted him to plan to use it to some degree on most of his zero-grade fields this season. “Every year, more and more people are doing it and they’re getting more comfortable with it,” Berry says. “This is something I know for a fact where I can use up to half the water I’ve been using, and that’s significant.” Fine-tuning nitrogen and varietal work Hardke chose his trial locations to examine how soil type fac-

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VICKY BOYD

“We’ve been aware of these water issues for a long time, and I want to be part of the solution and try some of these conservation techniques.”

Mississippi rice producer Curtis Berry compared a field of row rice (pictured) to a field irrigated with alternate wetting and drying and collapsible poly tubing.

tors into AWD and row rice. Pine Tree has lighter soils whereas Keiser has heavy clay. The large blocks also allowed him to use collapsible poly tubing to irrigate the AWD treatments and had long enough runs (750-1,200 feet) for furrow irrigation of row rice to be similar to grower fields. Hardke says he plans to repeat the trial this season and in 2019 to see if the trends he saw last season, which was unusually mild and wet, continue under different weather conditions. This season he says he also hopes to conduct small-scale trials within the larger blocks to examine varietal and hybrid response as well as optimum nitrogen treatments. “We want to fine-tune some of our nitrogen recommendations and varietal work,” he says. “We actually had some growers plant some additional strips of other varieties, and they looked great. But it was a very nice year and a low-disease year. You’re taking a pretty big risk any time you’re planting a variety that is blast susceptible. We’re going to select some of the varieties that have a better blast package to see if they will work.” That’s why most growers favor hybrids for row rice — they are a bit more stress tolerant and have blast resistance. Hardke says he also plans to look at irrigation intervals for row rice to see how potentially higher temperatures and less rain could affect application timing and yields. Regardless of the irrigation method, he says growers should avoid irrigation stress between green ring to half-inch internode elongation and again around flowering. Stress during those periods can significantly reduce yields.  RICEFARMING.COM


Specialists Speaking

Top 10 things to know about Provisia rice DR. DUSTIN HARRELL LOUISIANA Extension Rice Specialist dharrell@agcenter.lsu.edu

PVL01 is the first Provisia rice variety released for commercial rice production this year. The Provisia Rice Production System includes the variety, PVL01, distributed through Horizon Ag and the Provisia herbicide from BASF with the active ingredient quizalofop. This is an herbicide technology that is sorely needed in the Mid-South rice production areas where Newpath-resistant red rice and weedy rice have become serious problems. So serious in fact, many Louisiana growers have actually lost the ability to use the Clearfield technology altogether. In a last-ditch effort to control the resistant red and weedy rice, some growers have reverted to water seeding. Now growers have another choice to help not only keep the acres with the resistant weed problems in rice production but also provide a first step to a permanent solution to the overall problem. This in itself has a tremendous value to the sustainability of rice production in these areas. When I think of sustainability,

When trying row rice, ‘buyer beware’ SAM ATWELL

MISSOURI Agronomy Specialist atwells@missouri.edu How do you make a profit in 2018? Is there any way to decrease input cost? Can I change my operation to make it more economical, like switching to furrow-irrigated rice? It’s a big deal if we can remove all or most levees from rice fields and maintain yields. New technology offers changes and the never-ending need for continued research. Missouri growers are having success with furrow-irrigated rice, also known as row rice. Furrow-irrigated rice is grown on beds with water run down the middles like other row crops. The goal for most Missouri growers using this system is to grow rice on problem fields and make a profit. The question, “Should I switch to furrow-irrigated rice?” My answer is, “It depends on your situation and management TWITTER: @RICEFARMING

I generally try to relate how current production practices will affect the future of rice production. I believe that the use of the Provisia technology, where Newpath-resistance problems exist, is truly a sustainable practice. What legacy will growers with the Newpath-resistant red and weedy rice problems leave behind for future generations of rice growers who follow in their footsteps? Unfortunately, like the first Clearfield rice variety, the first Provisia rice variety is not perfect. There are several things about PVL01 you will need to know before growing it in 2018. Below are my top 10 things to know about PVL01. 1. PVL01 has a 10 percent yield drag compared to other Clearfield and conventional rice varieties. 2. You cannot plant PVL01 after Clearfield rice due to the Newpath residual. 3. The recommended seeding rate for PVL01 is 50-70 pounds per acre. 4. The Provisia herbicide does not have a residual component. Use residual herbicides in your herbicide program and overlap when possible. 5. Antagonism has been reported when tankmixing with several herbicides. Avoid all tankmixes when possible. 6. Wait 24 hours after Provisia herbicide application prior to applying subsequent herbicide applications. 7. A “yellow flash” can sometime be seen after Provisia application. This will generally go away after a few days of good growing conditions. 8. PVL01 requires 30 pounds more nitrogen per acre than

skills.” It depends on why you need to make adjustments on your farm. If the problem is lack of water, soil type, topography, crop rotation, or economics, all are valid reasons for making changes. But they don’t carry the same weight. Saving money by pumping less water is probably the hardest to justify. Lack of water from a weak well that can’t hold a flood will not be solved with furrow-irrigated rice. However, if it’s because of sandy soils, then this system may be the solution. Sloping fields with lots of levees is the number one reason to go to furrow irrigation. Crop rotation is another good reason, especially with heavy clay soils that wick well. If you have what I call a very good rice soil, (clay base with silt on top,) and a good well, you’ll be hard pressed to gain anything with furrow-irrigated rice. I don’t know of any research where this system increases yields over flooded paddy rice under good conditions. But comparing to paddy rice is not realistic. If you can stand slightly lower yields and offset it with lower input cost, then furrow-irrigated rice should be considered to help increase profit. But buyer beware. University of Missouri researchers have studied furrow-irrigated rice since 1988. The 1993 University of Missouri publication, MU G4361, points out many changes that occur between anaerobic and aerobic conditions. Always remember that rice doesn’t grow, develop and yield well with water stress. FEBRUARY 2018

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SPECIALISTS SPEAKING

Choose the ‘right boots’ to begin the season DR. JARROD HARDKE

ARKANSAS Asst. Professor/Rice Extension Agronomist University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service jhardke@uaex.edu With planting season just around the corner, many seed selection decisions have already been made. Now it’s time to focus on other critical matters such as how

Choose a seeding rate that hits the sweet spot — you have enough to maximize production but not so much that you spend too much money.

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much to plant and what seed treatments to use. Choosing the proper seeding rate is much like putting on the right pair of boots in the morning – things will go well if you choose wisely, but it could be a really bad day if you’re wrong. With seeding rates, we’re shooting for a sweet spot where we have enough to maximize production but not so much that we spend too much money. This is where we focus on standard baseline seeding rates and then adjust upward based on conditional factors. For varieties, the goal is to plant 30 seed per square foot on a loam soil, but increase it by 20 percent to 36 seed per ft2 for a clay soil. For hybrids, the goal is to plant 10 seed per ft2 on a loam soil, but increase it by 20 percent to 12 seed per ft2 for a clay soil. Other adjustments should be made based on planting date (+020%), planting method (+0-30%), and seedbed preparation (+020%). It is not uncommon to need in the range of 40 seed per ft2. The recommended maximum seeding rate for varieties is 45 seed per ft2 and for hybrids is 15 seed per ft2. At the end of the day, the focus is less on how many seed per ft2 you plant and more on getting the number of plants per ft2 you need to maximize production. The short and skinny is that we want 12 to 18 plants per ft2 for a variety to maximize yield and six to 10 plants per ft2 for a hybrid to maximize yield. Plant the amount of seed necessary to achieve a stand in those ranges.

COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

most other varieties — 150-180 pounds per acre is recommended in Louisiana. 9. PVL01 is a lighter green color than most rice varieties and will not turn dark green regardless of how much nitrogen fertilizer you apply. 10. PVL01 is susceptible to blast. You will need to use at least one, and it is highly recommended that you use two fungicide applications when growing PVL01.

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Don’t forget the seed treatments! Choose a fungicide and insecticide package based on your needs and the prices of the products. For much of Arkansas, grape colaspsis can be a significant concern, so using a neonicotinoid seed treatment such as CruiserMaxx or NipsIt is best. These also control rice water weevil. However, Dermacor provides the best control of rice water weevil while having limited effects on grape colaspis. Fungicides are always a wise decision as they protect the emerging seedling from the disease complex that can weaken plants and reduce stands. Ideally, multiple fungicides will be used to combat the range of seedling diseases. Finally, use of gibberellic acid and zinc seed treatments can help. Gibberellic acid can help with emergence, particularly semi-dwarf cultivars. Zinc seed treatments provide good insurance against early season zinc deficiency but are not an adequate replacement for standard zinc soil fertility management when soil test levels are low to very low. Choose seeding rates and seed treatments wisely in 2018. These are the critical steps to establishing a successful crop. Go into the season with the right boots on your feet and in your field.

Don’t overlook sulfur, zinc when drafting fertility plan DR. BOBBY GOLDEN MISSISSIPPI Extension Rice Specialist bgolden@drec.msstate.edu

Generally this time of year, I discuss the importance of phosphorus and potassium fertilization of rice. This year, I thinks it’s critical to talk about zinc and sulfur, two nutrients that often require attention in Mississippi rice fields. Last year, we observed numerous fields with zinc issues and a few fields with sulfur issues. In many instances, these two deficiencies occurred in our rice-growing areas that have lighter-textured soils. Therefore, if rice will be seeded to lower CEC (cation exchange capacity) soils during 2018 on your farm, let’s consider a few items that aid in determining if either of these deficiencies will occur. In considering sulfur, let’s first look at soil tests and determine if we are marginal in soil test sulfur levels. Many of our heavy soils on which rice is grown will have adequate soil test sulfur. But the lighter soils may be lacking, so let’s mark those fields with < 20 pounds S per acre as potential candidates for an issue to surface. Secondly, we need to consider our rotation. In Mississippi, we have historically applied about 12 pounds S per acre to rice as ammonium sulfate around the two-leaf stage. This has generally been an adequate amount for our rice crop, but we may require more if we have been out of rice for a while or have not been addressing sulfur needs for the preceding soybean crop. As our soybean yields have increased, so has our sulfur reTWITTER: @RICEFARMING

BOBBY GOLDEN

Specialists Speaking

Normal rice plants (left) compared to zinc-deficient ones

moval and the potential for S deficiencies if not addressed. If your farm fits these descriptions, consider keeping a close eye on your rice crop for a potential S deficiency to show up. Zinc deficiency is rare in Mississippi rice fields due to the abundance of our production historically occurring on heavy clay soils. Zinc issues do show up routinely on our silt and sandy-loam rice acreage. Zinc deficiency is more apt to occur when soil pH is elevated. Because our irrigation water generally contains an abundance of bicarbonates, most of our rice-producing areas have soil pH levels that can cause Zn deficiencies. Zinc deficiency in rice tends to appear after the onset of the permanent flood and can sometimes occur after a prolonged flushing. If farms have a history of Zn issues or if a particular farm is on light-textured ground, keep an eye out shortly after flooding. Most cases of Zn deficiency are often noticed when the rice fails to “jump” after the preflood nitrogen application. Both S and Zn issues can be corrected in season when properly identified, and yield loss can be avoided.

Start planning early so you can plant on time BRUCE LINQUIST CALIFORNIA UCCE Rice Specialist balinquist@ucdavis.edu

Our research has shown that planting early generally leads to higher yields. Between late April and the end of May, every week delay in planting reduces yield by about 1.5 100-pound sacks per acre. Planting time is generally driven by soil moisture, temperature, water availability and the amount of acreage that needs to be planted. FEBRUARY 2018

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SPECIALISTS SPEAKING There has been an increasing trend to making a top-dress N application – usually at panicle initiation. While top-dress N applications are not necessarily bad, they may not be needed. Top-dress N is expensive as it requires an airplane and a more expensive form of N fertilizer. Top-dress N applications are needed if the plant is N deficient at PI. Under these circumstances, additional N is absolutely necessary to achieve optimal yields. We recommend applying what you think is enough N fertilizer (aqua and starter) for the entire season at the beginning of the season. At PI, the crop should be evaluated using a Leaf Color Chart (or possibly a Green Seeker) to see if additional N fertilizer may be needed at that time. Therefore, if you are constantly needing to apply a top-dress N application to achieve the high yields you expect, you might want to consider increasing your preplant N rate. Additional information on nutrient management as well as other aspects of crop management can be found at http://rice. ucanr.edu/.

KURT RICHTER

Planting in a timely manner requires good planning. That all starts early in the year. Make sure fields are able to drain quickly, which helps the soils dry out so land preparation can start in a timely manner. Importantly, do not cut corners on other good management practices to simply be able to plant a bit earlier. High yields are achieved when growers apply all the recommended growing practices. As I write, we have had a dry winter. I hope this changes. If your fields were not flooded, especially if you also did not incorporate your straw in the fall, you could have a lot of residue in the field this spring. This is an issue not only for good land preparation but also for nitrogen fertilizer management. Having a lot of straw in the field at the start of the growing season will tie up nitrogen fertilizer and lead to N deficiencies. Although the tied-up N will be available later in the season, it will often be available too late. Therefore, if you have a lot of straw in the field, you may consider increasing your preplant N rate.

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