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PROFITABLE PRODUCTION STRATEGIES

MAY 2018

Be careful of harvest-aid drift from neighboring soybeans Delayed planting could shore up short-term prices

Honing a craft Eckert Malting refines process for gluten-free brewing, distilling


RF0518 Layout_CF 11/13 template 4/23/18 9:43 AM Page 2

45,705 LAPS: THIS IS WHAT 504 MORE HOURS LOOKS LIKE. What would you do with three extra weeks (504 hours) of time? Because with two modes of action and a wider spectrum of control than propanil, RebelEXÂŽ rice herbicide provides up to 504 additional hours of residual control of barnyardgrass. The double dose of powerful control also knocks out propanil-resistant weeds, grasses and aquatics, including sprangletop. So enjoy your extra time, however you spend it. Visit 504MoreHours.com to find out more about the benefits of RebelEX.

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May 2018 March 2018

COLUMNS

www.ricefarming.com

Vol. 52, No. 4 6

COVER STORY

4 From the Editor

Rice'senjoys Rice long history craft beer bucks renaissance 'what's hot in food' trends

6 Guest USA Rice Column Update

Rice and sustainability International markets will keep us busy this summer

8 USA Rice Update Rice sets D E industry PARTM E Npriorities TS for the next Farm Bill

12 Industry News RiceE business D P A R T Mscene ENTS Rice scene Singlebusiness pre-flood N application sets plant up for high yields

10 8

Here to stay? Honing a craft

19 18 Industry SpecialistNews Speaking 20 Specialist Speaking

The California rice industry prepares for what may become annual armyworm infestations.

to pilots George Tibbitts (also a rice producer) and Rob Meyer for their flying expertise in shooting this photo. ON THE COVER: Armyworms once Photo by VickyCalifornia Boyd rice growers again plagued

Retired F E A T California U R E S rice researcher Jim Eckert refines rice malting for gluten-free brewing and distilling.

Early herbicide mistakes can COVER A special thank you plaguePHOTO: you all season long

in 2017.

Photo by Luis Espino, University of California Cooperative Extension

Sign e-newsletter Sign up up for for the the monthly monthly e-newsletter at to have have exclusive exclusive atricefarming.com ricefarming.com to industry news and content delivered industry news and content delivered directly inbox. directly to to your your inbox.

9

The yin and yang

Shorter supplies have shorn up the

F E Amarket, T U R Ebut S increased 2018 planting

projections cloud long-term outlook.

14 14

A mixed market Althoughaid it’sexpansion still too early to tell, delayed Floods

16

Be careful out there

16

New tools drift in the harvest-aid latetool intobox the season,

17

planting could shore up at least shortGiant invasive snail threatens the term prices. rice-crawfish rotation in southwest Louisiana.

14

according to crop-protection MSU research. products Several new are available in time for this year’s rice season.

16

ination Form Awards Nom 2018 Rice

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leaders who those rice candidates recognize to identify ent Award your help in your area should Achievem Rice Lifetime industry. We need Award and industry members to the innovation to consider which Rice Industry the Year, determination and the time g materials. , Farmer of make a copy Please take The Rice and supportin ated dedication s awards. n form, please ed or l this form have demonstr of these prestigioumail or scan/emai one nominatiocan be download more than and n forms who are worthy submitting form. Nominatio of these honors m. If you are the be recipients arming.co you fill out

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www.ricef before online at submitted

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Awards: Since 1992, the Rice Farmer of the Year, Rice Industry Award University ofRice Arkansas breeding and Rice Lifetime Achievement Award recognize deserving leaders within the program releases new jasmine-type rice industry. Nomination form on page 5. long grain.

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Rice remains sensitive to soybean

q Rice Farmer acres. at least 200

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form & supporting completed TN 38138 Please send Ave., Germantown, grower.com 7201 Eastern csmith@one Scan/Email:

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and education. of efficiency. ation for higher level local community to reach goals. achieve a of recommend Belt will industry, while trying manage risk, and the rice to send letters the Rice have emerged more profitable, It also is helpfulof judges from across and/or agriculture hurdles that to become guidelines. to farming and overcome for the industry ents. A panel the above Dedication in terms of ion to succeed accomplishm better ways at the Determinat identify new and the nominee familiar with his/her will be made to are please describe Innovation official presentation this form, the rice industry who where an December 2018 issue. in to completing in the Diego, California, In addition from other individuals Awards. 2018, in San Rice Farming magazine Rice and Dec. 5-7, the nominee of the 2018 Conference, Horizon Ag, USA Rice recipients by Rice Outlook select the at the USA salute sponsored in a special will be honored recipients also will be featured The award They awards luncheon.

SPONSORS

18

Farm & Gin Show recap

Nominate consultan an outstanding adviser t or pest control (PCA) for Consultan the Rice t of the Year Award. “At Dow AgroScien understan ces, we have a vitald rice consultan ts industry,” role in the says Jaret rice herbicides Fipps, product manager, Dow AgroScien “Consulta ces. in being nts have a big task asked to on current be experts technolog conditions, evolving productio ies and individual growers n needs to help manage operation successfu s. l “As a thank sponsorin you, we are of the Yearg the Rice Consultan opportuni Award to provide t ty to recognize an who exceed expectatio those their contributio ns ns to the for industry.” rice

Rice Consultant Of The Year: Acknowledge an outstanding consultant or Tight world rice supplies mean any pest control adviser (PCA) whose contributions to the rice industry exceed disruption could push markets expectations. Nomination form on page 19.higher.

18

N O M I N A T I O N

F O R M

Please Additiona use a separate page l recommen and industry dations via for biographical/profes letters or members emails from sional informati are also See instructio encourag ed to provide other farmers, on. ns at bottom consultan left to submit support for ts these materialsthe nominee. . Name:

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Submit nomina tions by June 30, 2018. Options to materials: submit supportin g E-mail: csmith@on egrower.c Mail: om Carroll Smith 7201 Eastern Ave. Germanto wn, TN 38138 Online: ricefarmin g.com/rco y

Your Name: Address: City: Phone:

State: Email: S P O N S O R E D

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Abbreviated Rules. No who are Purchase 18 age or older years of age or older Necessary. Contest at the time at the time ends on Dow AgroSciences 6/30/18 of entry of entry at 11:59:59 and possess LLC, 9330 and serve as a PM (CT). knowledge rice consultant Zionsville Trademark To enter, and/or Road, Indianapolis, or as of The Dow go to http://www.ricefa a pest control experience Chemical in the rice IN 46268. advisor in Company rming.com/rcoy. farming the rice farming (“Dow”) industry. or E. I. du Nominators Entrants industry. Pont de must must Subject Nemours to complete be legal residents be legal residents and Company of the fifty of Official Rules (“DuPont”) (50) United the fifty (50) found at or affiliated http://www.ricefa States and United States and companies District rming.com/rcoy. of Columbia District of Columbia of Dow or DuPont. Void where who are 18 years prohibited. of Sponsor:

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3


From The

Editor

Rice enjoys craft beer renaissance Using rice as a beer ingredient is nothing new. Brewers before Prohibition used the grain because it imparted a light, crisp taste and effervescence, and Anheuser Busch has been doing so for decades. But they all used rice as an adjunct ingredient and a starch source in addition to barley. Jim Eckert, owner of Eckert Malting and Brewing in Chico, California, has elevated rice in brewing to an entirely new level by making beers that rely entirely on the grain. Part of that effort involves developing techniques to malt rice. You can read more about Eckert’s use of locally grown Sacramento Valley rice in the Vicky Boyd page 8 article. Editor In beer, brewers traditionally have used malted barley to provide the nutty, sometimes bread-like flavor. Malting involves sprouting a grain, prompting naturally occurring enzymes to begin converting starch to sugar. At just the right time, malting is halted with heat. Later on, the malt is added to a starch source as a kind of starter to initiate conversion to sugar. Yeast use the sugar as food, converting it to carbon dioxide and alcohol. Eckert has seen worldwide demand for his malted rice grow as craft brewers want to make gluten-free beers. Barley and rye contain the naturally occurring protein, whereas rice is inherently free of gluten. Craft brewers’ demand for rice also is a 180-degree turn from where the industry was just a few years ago. In an effort to differentiate themselves from the big boys, many small-scale craft brewers had shunned rice. They either stuck with the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot, a centuries-old German beer purity law, or they turned to far different grains. The Germans believed beer should be made of only four ingredients: water, barley, hops and yeast. In addition to the growing gluten-free market, a small number of brewers have turned to rice because of the distinct crisp or tropical flavors it can provide. Great Raft Brewing in Shrevesport, Louisiana, for example, uses Louisiana-grown rice in its Southern Drawl dry-hopped pilsner. Brewers there also use pilsen malt made from six-row barley and four different hops varieties to give the beer a complex, citrusy aroma and make it “wildly drinkable,” according to brewery information. Stone’s Throw Brewing in Little Rock, Arkansas, has partnered with the Arkansas Rice Council on The O’Hara Arkansas Scarlett Rice English Ale, which it released in late April. The beer uses locally grown Arkansas rice. Now this is a rice trend I can drink to. Cheers!

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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2018 Rice Awards Nomination Form The Rice Farmer of the Year, Rice Industry Award and Rice Lifetime Achievement Award recognize those rice leaders who have demonstrated dedication, determination and innovation to the industry. We need your help to identify candidates who are worthy of these prestigious awards. Please take the time to consider which industry members in your area should be recipients of these honors and mail or scan/email this form and supporting materials.

Categories: Please check the box of the appropriate award category:

q Rice Farmer of the Year Award • Must farm at least 200 acres. • A farmer who has successfully achieved goals in his/her farming operation, rice industry association, community improvement/development, innovative production practices and/or environmental stewardship.

q Rice Industry Award

If you are submitting more than one nomination form, please make a copy before you fill out the form. Nomination forms can be downloaded or submitted online at www.ricefarming.com.

Nominee’s name Nominee’s address Nominee’s phone number/email address Nominee’s rice acreage (if applicable)

• Has been in the rice industry for more than five years. • A researcher, Extension person, government/association leader, etc… who has demonstrated commitment to the rice industry through innovative practices, industry association, community involvement/development.

Your name

q Rice Lifetime Achievement Award

Your profession

• Has been in the rice industry for more than 10 years. • An industry leader who has provided great contributions to the rice industry through industry associations, community involvement/development, innovative practices/projects that have advanced the industry.

Deadline:

June 15, 2018

Number of years involved in the rice industry (if applicable)

Your address Your phone number/email address Your signature

Date

Please send completed form & supporting materials to: Carroll Smith 7201 Eastern Ave., Germantown, TN 38138 Scan/Email: csmith@onegrower.com

On a separate piece of paper, please consider the following: Dedication to farming and/or agriculture and the rice industry, local community and education. Determination to succeed and overcome hurdles that have emerged while trying to reach goals. Innovation to identify new and better ways for the industry to become more profitable, manage risk, achieve a higher level of efficiency. In addition to completing this form, please describe the nominee in terms of the above guidelines. It also is helpful to send letters of recommendation for the nominee from other individuals in the rice industry who are familiar with his/her accomplishments. A panel of judges from across the Rice Belt will select the recipients of the 2018 Rice Awards. The award recipients will be honored at the USA Rice Outlook Conference, Dec. 5-7, 2018, in San Diego, California, where an official presentation will be made at the awards luncheon. They also will be featured in a special salute sponsored by Horizon Ag, USA Rice and Rice Farming magazine in the December 2018 issue.

SPONSORS


USA Rice

Update

International markets will keep us busy this summer

By Betsy Ward President and CEO USA Rice

COURTESY USA RICE

Developing new export markets and maintaining existing ones in light of growing trade tensions will consume much of USA Rice representatives’ time in coming months.

I

want to assure you that even though this column is going on hiatus for the summer, our work continues unabated. We will spend the summer as we do every season — finding and opening new markets, expanding opportunities in existing markets, and fighting threats to the U.S. industry here and abroad. One threat we are facing is fallout from increasing trade tensions. The Trump Administration is, as promised, engaging in tough talk and actions on trade. As expected, our trading partners are not taking it lying down. We have witnessed the Trans Pacific Partnership countries (without us) finalize the sweeping trade deal; we see Mexico take additional steps to further diversify their suppliers; and we are experiencing Chinese retaliation for non-agriculture tariffs President Trump has levied. On this last one — the China question — rice actually can play an interesting role. As you know, we’ve been working for more than a decade to gain access to this enormous market. To be honest, 2018 felt like it was going to be the year. The long-delayed phytosanitary agreement was finally signed last summer and we were confident we were in the end stages of the negotiations — the bottom of the ninth with two out and a full count on the batter. But then the Chinese government had new questions about how we do things here, and they sent us a long and detailed questionnaire that put us into extra innings.

Extra innings The USA Rice Millers’ Association navigated the questionnaire and through consultations with the U.S. government, we answered all the questions we could legally answer (some questions ventured into work-

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er health, triggering privacy concerns), and transmitted those answers back to the Chinese government. As of this writing, the next step is setting up inspections of U.S. facilities by Chinese authorities to confirm that the phytosanitary agreement is being adhered to — which it is. Here is where U.S. rice could help the overall trade picture. If China were to begin importing U.S.-grown rice, which would be the next logical step, it could begin to tip the trade balance sheet back toward the United States. Don’t get me wrong I know we’re not talking about true trade balancing figures — but every 100,000 metric tons helps. It helps us, it helps the nation and it helps the Chinese consumers, so why not? We’ve communicated all of this to the U.S. government at the highest levels and they hear us. To continue my baseball metaphor, what are the Chinese going to do? Swing away, I hope. Next batter up Another market priority we have communicated to our government is Iraq. We have a precedent-setting memorandum of understanding, and we’ve had some sales success. We’ve also encountered road blocks. With the help of allies in Congress, the State Department and the Iraqi government, we’ve overcome those. But we do need more transparent and regular trade with Iraq — a major rice purchaser — and we are positioning ourselves as best we can to achieve this. We are working to expand our access in Central America with increasing outreach and in Europe as well — where Brexit is presenting opportunities. Those are just a few of the things my team and I will be working on while you are out in the field, tending the next crop and bringing it in. I wish you all a good and productive summer, with the right weather, health and happiness, and a bountiful crop come fall that we can send to some of these places I’m talking about.  RICEFARMING.COM


Weed Control Is Key In Missouri Rice David Howard Heartland Crop Consultants Dexter, Missouri My brother, Wes, and I grew up on a cotton and soybean farm in the Bootheel of Missouri. I worked for a consultant after my dad quit farming in 1999, and Wes did custom spraying for eight years. In 2008, I started Heartland Crop Consultants, and Wes and I became partners in the business in 2011. The 2017 rice crop was above-average overall. However, acres planted in late May due to wet conditions didn’t do as well and were affected by cooler weather in early September. As a general rule, we typically don’t like to plant rice past May 15 this far north. This year, we finished planting most of our rice acres the first week of May.

Wide Variety Of Weed Pests We consult on a broad range of soil types. Production systems include zero-grade acres, furrow-irrigated rice and even some pivot-irrigated rice. Each of these brings its own set of challenges. Our weed spectrum is made up of barnyardgrass (some resistant), Amazon sprangletop, Pennsylvania smartweed, giant crabgrass, broadleaf signalgrass, smallflower umbrella sedge, hemp sesbania, northern jointvetch and Palmer pigweed. Grasp SC provides good barnyardgrass control — especially on bigger barnyardgrass — and helps control aquatics. We apply RebelEX on some of our zero-grade ground after the residuals have played out. If it has rained before flood and we can’t use a ground rig, we make an aerial application of RebelEX to control sprangletop and barnyardgrass. Where resistance is increasing — especially in areas with continuous rice — Loyant herbicide will be an important tool. We definitely want to apply it on fields with resistant barnyardgrass competition. Loyant also will be a key player on zero-grade acres where smallflower umbrella sedge is present. Now that we have improved rice varieties and better weed control options, row rice is becoming more popular in the Missouri Bootheel. Our biggest problem in this production system is pigweed. Water runs down the middle of the rows and soaks through the beds, which creates an ideal environment for this pest. It’s important to have a thick rice stand to shade the ground and apply Loyant herbicide. It does an excellent job on pigweed. While he was farming, our dad always told us there are a lot of variables you can’t control, but you also can’t save your way into prosperity. It’s best to focus inputs in places that provide the greatest return, so you have a better chance for success.

David (left) and Wes Howard. • David and Wes Howard consult on rice, beans, corn, wheat and cotton in southeast Missouri. • David: Bachelor of Science degree, Southeast Missouri State University. Wes: Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Harding University • David and his wife, Jennifer, have two children: Sam, 7, and Henry, 5. • Wes and his wife, Bonnie, have three children: Kalee, 20; Jackson, 11; and Grant, 18 months. • David enjoys hunting and fishing, camping, spending time with family, Cardinals baseball and playing golf. • Wes enjoys hunting, fishing, flying and spending time with family.

Recap: Weed Control Key In Missouri Rice

1. Our weed spectrum is made up of barnyardgrass (some resistant), Amazon sprangletop, Pennsylvania smartweed, giant crabgrass, broadleaf signalgrass, smallflower umbrella sedge, hemp sesbania, northern jointvetch and Palmer pigweed. 2. Grasp SC provides good barnyardgrass control — especially on bigger barnyardgrass — and helps control aquatics. 3. If we can’t use a ground rig, we make an aerial application of RebelEX to control sprangletop and barnyardgrass. 4. We definitely want to apply Loyant on fields with resistant barnyardgrass competition and on zero-grade acres where smallflower umbrella sedge is present.

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t


Honing a craft Retired California rice researcher Jim Eckert refines rice malting for gluten-free brewing and distilling. By Vicky Boyd Editor

T

o describe Chico, California-based Eckert Malting and Brewing Co. as a labor of love is an understatement. What started as Jim Eckert trying to home-brew beer for his wife, who had become gluten intolerant, has evolved into a commercial-scale gluten-free rice malting and brewing enterprise. Of the two, rice malting comprises the bulk of his business. “We’re making slow progress on a lot of fronts,” he says. “A couple of my main customers are purchasing increasingly larger volumes (of malted rice), so it’s looking good.” In addition to supplying long-standing domestic buyers and one in the United Kingdom, Eckert recently partnered with a distributor to market his malted rice to commercial and home brewers in Australia and New Zealand. He also has launched a gluten-free beer batter mix for making tempura, fried chicken

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and catfish, fried okra and pickles, or anything else that’s cooked in hot oil. The mix joins his existing malted rice hot cereal. A focus on rice But his journey has not been without hiccups. With little literature available for reference, Eckert has been a pioneer of sorts and has endured a lot of trial and error before reaching his current mix of rice-based gluten-free products. Eckert decided to focus on rice because it is inherently gluten free and is in plentiful supply in the Sacramento Valley. Gluten, a naturally occurring plant protein found predominately in wheat, barley, rye and their relatives, can cause life-threatening health issues for people with Celiac disease. A small but growing group of consumers without gluten sensitivity also choose to avoid the protein because of perceived benefits. As a former University

RICEFARMING.COM


What is malt? Malted grain — which in large-scale commercial brewing typically involves barley — helps give beer its flavor and body. Malting itself involves steeping grain in warm water until it begins to sprout. During this process, enzymes begin to break down the starch within the grain and convert it to sugar. At just the proper stage, the activity is stopped using heat, which also dries the grain. Eckert follows a similar process, starting with paddy rice. After adding water to the grain, he aerates it until it begins to sprout and the radicle has emerged. At this point, Eckert drains the water and transfers the grain to a kiln for drying. Then comes the roasting, which is responsible for the color as well as distinct flavor variations among different classes of beer. For this, Eckert turns to a rotating drum roaster originally designed for nuts. A lighter roast, for example, may impart a golden or amber color

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PHOTOS BY VICKY BOYD

of California research associate stationed at the California Rice Experiment Station, Eckert also is intimately familiar with the rice’s physiological properties and potential. With two bachelor degrees in crop and soil science as well as a master’s in agronomy from the University of Wyoming, he first became interested in home brewing during his college days. During the summers, Eckert worked for researchers who had wheat and malt barley variety trials. That got him and another student thinking about making beer at home. After a few attempts, they finally figured out the nuances of brewing, and Eckert says he’s been hooked ever since.

Once the rice is malted, Jim Eckert roasts the grain to add more complex flavors.

and a nutty flavor. A darker roast will result in a brown, stout or porter with deep hues and coffee or chocolate characteristics. Beer 101 To make beer, brewers create a mash by cooking up a starch source along with some malt. Large-scale commercial breweries typically use corn grits or rice as an adjunct ingredient. The malt provides the enzymes that start breaking down starches and converting them to sugars. The sugar is needed to feed the yeast during fermentation. Once the conversion has begun, brewers add the mash to the main malt supply and allow the process to continue.

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Single malt rice whiskey Eckert’s malted rice also has caught the attention of Gold River Distillery, a small-batch craft distillery in Rancho Cordova, California. “Jim has something special, and we want to be part of it,” says Gold River Distillery CEO Greg Baughman. The distillery aged its first single malt rice whiskey in barrels and released it a few months ago. Single malt refers to a single batch — rather than multiple batches — of malted grain being used in a particular lot of whiskey. Baughman says they decided to look at a rice-based whiskey for customers who want to avoid gluten. “If we could make a (rice) whiskey that tasted as good as any other whiskey out there or even better, then we would have a product that is 100 percent gluten free,” he says. “And as long as we have it in 100 percent new barrels, then we would have no contamination.” Baughman says he also believes his is the only distillery currently using malted rice in whiskey. “One of the biggest issues that a lot of distilleries have is actually figuring out how to do a mash for rice efficiently to get the higher gravities you do with other grains,” he says. “We’ve figured out the ideal temperatures and mash times since we started using Jim’s product.” The higher gravities to which Baughman referred are an indication of higher alcohol content. Whiskey is made by coarsely grinding dried malted grain — in this case rice — and mixing it with hot water in a mash tun. Periodic stirring of the mash aids in the conversion of starches to sugar. At just the right time, the wort is drained off. Yeast is then added to the wort. Once fermentation is complete, the liquid is run through distillation, which concentrates the alcohol content and removes undesirable components. The liquid then moves into oak casks, where it ages and matures before bottling. 

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VICKY BOYD

Eventually, they drain off the sugary liquid, known as wort. This is essentially beer before it has undergone fermentation. The spent grain has a number of uses, including livestock feed. To start fermentation, brewers add their own preferred strain of yeast to the wort, and the micro-organisms convert the sugar to carbon dioxide — which gives beer its bubbles — and to alcohol. When the yeast has consumed all of the sugar, it dies and fermentation is complete. Although Eckert follows traditional brewing processes for the beers he makes commercially, he says they don’t taste the same as many popular beers because he uses exclusively rice. “I tell people my flavor profile is going to be different,” he says. “With my dark lager, people are trying to say it’s a porter, but it’s not exactly a porter. I don’t want to be shoehorned into a barley thing. I am not making an exact barley replication because it’s not possible — they’re different grains. “People are often surprised by the initial flavor profile differences because they’re used to barley beers, and some people can’t accept it.”

Jim Eckert, a home brewer and retired rice research associate, produces gluten-free malted rice and beer.

Gluten-free beers grow slowly but steadily How many small-scale or craft breweries use rice to make gluten-free beers is hard to gauge, says Chris Swersey, supply chain specialist and competition manager with the Denver, Colorado-based Great American Beer Festival. “We don’t benchmark rice usage at craft breweries, so I don’t have good figures for you among our members,” he says in an email. Nevertheless, Swersey says he has seen the category grow during the past few years within the competition. To be entered into the gluten-free category, the beer must be produced using all gluten-free ingredients. It cannot be gluten reduced, which involves using enzymes that break up the gluten protein. “At least 15 beers entered in the 2016 Great American Beer Festival were made with rice,” Swersey says. “Most of these were entered as gluten-free beers, but not all. We don’t collect recipe/amount data, and the identity of these breweries would unfortunately be confidential. “We’ve seen slow growth in the GF category at the GABF, with 24 entries in 2015, 37 entries last year, and the same number at this time — 37 — heading into 2017 GABF.” RICEFARMING.COM


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2017 Rice Award recipients were (from left) Christian Richard, Rice Farmer of the Year; Dr. Xueyan Sha, Rice Industry Award; and Chuck Wilson, Rice Lifetime Achievement Award.

Help us find worthy Rice Award recipients

Since 1992, deserving leaders within the rice industry have been recognized with a Rice Award. This year, Rice Farming will again partner with Horizon Ag and USA Rice to present the Rice Farmer of the Year, the Rice Industry Award and the Rice Lifetime Achievement Award. We need you to help by nominating deserving individuals. The Rice Farmer of the Year recognizes a farmer who has achieved goals in his or her farming operation, rice industry association, community improvement/development, innovative production practices and/or environmental stewardship. The Rice Industry Award is for non-farmers, including researchers, Extension personnel, government/association leaders etc., who have demonstrated commitment to the rice industry through innovative practices, industry association and community involvement/development. The Rice Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an industry leader who has provided great contributions through industry associations, community development/involvement and innovative practices/projects that have advanced the industry. Deadline to submit nominations is June 15. Award recipients will be recognized during the USA Rice Outlook Conference, Dec. 5-7, in San Diego, California. They also will be featured in a special section in the December issue of Rice Farming magazine. A nomination form can be found on page 5 of this issue. Additional downloadable forms and on-line nominations are available through the Rice Farming website, www.ricefarming.com.

‘Most Crop Per Drop’ contest challenges Arkansas producers

Do you think you’re a good water manager who can maximize water-use efficiency? If so, enter the University of Arkansas’ 2018 Arkansas Rice and Row Crop Irrigation Yield Contest for rice, soy and corn producers. If you earn the top award in the “Most Crop Per Drop” challenge, you could win a valuable prize, according to a university news release. Only the top entry in each commodity will receive the award. A $10,000 cash prize will go to contest winners in corn and soybeans. The rice winner will receive a RiceTec hybrid seed tote with a retail value of $12,000. Awards will be presented at the Arkansas Soil and Water Conference in January 2019. The contest prizes have been provided by RiceTec, the Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Promotion Board, and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.

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News There’s a $100 contest entry fee, and entries are due by June 1. Contestants will need a portable flow meter to enter but can request to borrow one from their county Extension office. Rice growers who use multiple inlet rice irrigation (MIRI) or alternate wetting and drying (AWD) methods are eligible. Other eligible The ‘Most Crop Per Drop’ contest practices include cascade is open to rice producers who flood, furrow irrigation. use multiple-inlet rice irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, con- among other technologies. tour-levee or straight-levee irrigation. However, zero-grade fields are ineligible. To learn more about the contest, contact your county Extension office or email contest@uark.edu.

Horizon Ag redesigns website

Horizon Ag has resigned its website, www.horizonseed.com, to make it easier for farmers and seed dealers to access tools and information about the latest Clearfield and Provisia rice varieties. “At Horizon Ag, we are always striving to improve our ability to serve our customers and support our retail and technology partners as we work together to improve the sustainability of the U.S. rice industry,” general manager Dr. Tim Walker said in a news release. For example, users looking for information about the first Provisia rice variety, PVL01, will be able to more easily access variety characteristics as well as best management practices. They also will be able to identify and locate Horizon Ag seed retailers.

Summer rice field days • June 13: Acadia Parish/South Farm Rice Field Day Crowley, Louisiana. This is hosted by the LSU AgCenter. • June 26: Texas A&M Eagle Lake Rice Field Day David R. Wintermann Rice Research Station, Eagle Lake. Field tours begin at 4 p.m., followed by industry update meeting and dinner at the Eagle Lake Community Center. • June 27: H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station Annual Field Day LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, Crowley, Louisiana • July 12: Texas A&M Beaumont Rice Field Day Tours begin at 8 a.m. Beaumont, Texas • Aug. 3: University of Arkansas Rice Field Day Rice Research and Extension Center, Stuttgart, Arkansas • Aug. 23: Missouri Rice Research and Marketing Council Rice Farm Field Day Highway J, west of Malden, Missouri • Aug. 29: California Rice Field Day California Rice Experiment Station, Biggs, California • Aug. 31: University of Missouri Fisher Delta Center Field Day (all crops) Lee Farm, Portageville, Missouri RICEFARMING.COM

MIKE HAMILTON, UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

VICKY BOYD

Industry


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PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

A mixed market Although it’s still too early to tell, delayed planting could shore up at least short-term prices. By Kurt Guidry

I

nformation coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the past several weeks has been mixed in terms of providing direction to the rice market. USDA’s planting intentions report at the end of March was generally viewed as positive as projected 2018 acres were on the lower end of what many in the market had expected. Total rice acres in 2018 are predicted at 2.69 million acres, up 128,000 acres from 2017. Long-grain rice acres were actually projected up by 146,000 acres to 2.03 million acres while mediumand short-grain acres are expected to be down about 18,000 acres. With Arkansas being the largest producer of rice in the United States, the acreage projected in that state was a key focus of this report. Although there was some initial concern that plantings in Arkansas might increase to the 1.5 million or 1.6 million acres seen in 2016, the report put Arkansas rice acres at 1.33 million. This was about a 170,000 acre increase over 2017 but far from the 300,000 to 400,000 acre increase that was once feared and would have likely put considerable downward pressure on prices in 2018. There are still likely to be some adjustments made in total rice acres in 2018 over the coming months, and history would suggest that any adjustments will likely be relatively small. In those years in which actual rice acres exceeded planting intentions in Arkansas, the increase in acres was roughly 70,000 acres. So even if planted acres for Arkansas were to increase from the planting intentions level, history would say that total rice acres would remain below the levels seen in 2016. Also, with soybean prices remaining above $10 per bushel, there seems to be less potential for acres to move into rice from that crop than maybe once feared. All in all, the planting intentions has helped improve the long-term outlook and should help to limit the downside risk for this market.

Louisiana cash prices remain stable Unfortunately, the other reports coming from USDA were not as positive. As expected as a result of lower acreage and production in 2017, the quarterly rice stocks report did show significant reductions in both rough rice and milled rice stocks from the previous year. However, they were at levels that were still higher than many in the market had projected. This report, along with rice exports continuing to lag levels in previous years, led to the USDA decreasing its projection for total rice use in the 2017/18 marketing year and increasing its ending stocks estimates in its April supply-and-demand report. Lower supplies and stocks in the 2017/18 marketing year have

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been pointed to as the primary source of higher prices seen this year. These reports seem to help dampen that impact. However, despite this latest news, cash prices in Louisiana have been able to remain relatively stable. This is likely a sign that buyers still have concerns about being able to source all of their rice needs with what remains of the 2017 crop. This should help to continue to support prices in the short-term and until the 2018 crop becomes available. Market shows resilience For the next several weeks, the market will likely be heavily focused on the progression of the 2018 crop. Despite adverse weather conditions in some areas, the U.S. rice crop is estimated to be 32 percent planted as of April 15. This is considerably slower then 2017 when 52 percent of the crop was planted at this time but is only slightly behind the five-year average of 35 percent. Several states have had cold and wet conditions that have slowed planting progress. Arkansas is estimated to be 27 percent planted compared to a five-year average of 33 percent while Mississippi is at 18 percent versus 26 percent and Missouri is at 11 percent versus 20 percent. Although it is too early to suggest this slower planting progress will have a significant impact on the size of the 2018 crop, it has likely added to the support for short-term prices. Currently, cash prices in Louisiana are around $21 to $21.50 per barrel ($12.96 to $13.27 per hundredweight). New crop bids are reported in the $19-per-barrel range ($11.73 cwt). While new crop prices being at a discount to old crop prices is not totally unusual, the current cash offers in Louisiana do seem to support the notion of significantly different prospects for short-term and long-term pricing. What this latest market news does, however, is hopefully tighten the distance between current prices and long-term price prospects. Given the smaller-than-expected acres for 2018 and the overall tightness in rice supplies coming out of the 2017 crop, downside risk for prices would seem to be lower than would have been projected just a couple of months ago. Now, it is conceivable to see prices be more resilient and for them to range in the low $18 to low $20 per barrel ($11.11 to $12.35 cwt) for the 2018/19 marketing year.  Dr. Kurt Guidry is Southwest Region director and Extension economist with the Louisiana State University AgCenter in Crowley. He may be reached at KMGuidry@agcenter.lsu.edu. RICEFARMING.COM


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Glyphosate drift can cause significant yield reductions, depending at what rice growth stage the off-target movement occurred.

Be careful out there Rice remains sensitive to soybean harvest-aid drift late into the season, according to MSU research. By Vicky Boyd Editor

F

or the past few seasons, Mississippi State University Extension Rice Agronomist Bobby Golden and MSU graduate student Justin McCoy have received phone calls from growers asking them to come out and examine fields affected by suspected herbicide drift. But it is not the type of off-target movement that has grabbed recent headlines. Instead, what the two researchers frequently observed were rice fields past heading that

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appeared to have been injured by harvest aids applied to adjacent soybean fields. With scant information in the literature about what, if any, potential yield reduction the harvest aids might cause to later-season rice, McCoy began two research projects in 2016 at the MSU Delta Research and Extension Center to address data gaps. One trial looked at possible yield reductions based on when drift occurred; the other examined possible varietal differences. Also involved in the projects is

Bobby Golden

Justin McCoy

RICEFARMING.COM


PHOTOS BY JUSTIN MCCOY, MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

“You can reduce yields all the way out to late in the season. Just be safe, follow proper procedures, and watch your wind and drift potential just like we do early in the season.” Justin McCoy

MSU Extension Weed Specialist Jason Bond. McCoy, who is conducting the research as part of his doctoral thesis, plans to continue it through this season. Regardless of the projects’ outcome, he says, “When you have these adjacent fields, you need to be careful with these applications just as you do earlier in the year. “You can reduce yields all the way out to late in the season. Just be safe, follow proper procedures, and watch your wind and drift potential just like we do early in the season. You just need to be aware that in these later growth stages, rice is still sensitive to off-target movement.” Timing matters Research conducted by MSU’s Joe Street and Mark Kurtz in 2002 reported glyphosate applied at the rice boot growth stage at reduced rates that simulated drift reduced yields 30-98 percent. But Golden says their application timing was earlier than when suspected drift occurred on the fields he has examined. Out of the more recent farmer complaints grew Golden and McCoy’s projects. They chose paraquat because it is widely used as a harvest aid for early soybeans. They also included glyphosate because it is registered as a harvest aid for grain sorghum. In addition, they added saflufenacil and sodium chlorate because they both are labeled for soybean dessication. The products were applied at 10 percent of labeled desiccation rate to simulate what might occur during drift. For glyphosate, that meant a rate of 3.2 ounces per acre; for paraquat, it was 1.6 ounces per acre. The first trial involved one variety — CL163. Applications of individual products were made beginning at 50 percent heading, with subsequent applications TWITTER: @RICEFARMING

Paraquat applied at 50 percent heading using rates to simulate drift caused significant yield reductions compared to the untreated check.

yield reductions in the 10- to 20-percent range, which is pretty significant,” McCoy says. But applications made 28 days after 50 percent heading did not result in yield differences from the untreated check.

MSU’s Bobby Golden and Justin McCoy have received calls the past few years of suspected soybean harvest-aid drift onto rice. The damage pictured was caused by paraquat.

made at one-week intervals for a total of five applications. “With saflufenacil and sodium chlorate, we didn’t see any differences from the untreated check,” McCoy says. “When we looked at the glyphosate and paraquat across two years, we did see glyphosate caused yield reductions all the way up to one week before harvest. Paraquat caused yield reductions up to the day of draining.” Applications of glyphosate or paraquat made at 50 percent heading caused the greatest yield decreases, he says. “With the first three timings, we saw

Differences among cultivars The second trial involved two hybrids — CLXL745 and CL753 — as well as three inbreds — CL163, Rex and Jupiter. It also included individual treatments of either reduced-rate glyphosate or reduced-rate paraquat as well as an untreated check. All applications were made at 50 percent heading, the plots taken to harvest and yields compared. “Interestingly enough, across both years, we’ve seen significant differences between the hybrid responses and the inbreds,” McCoy says. “We see much less yield response (in the hybrids) than we do the inbreds.” Regardless of the herbicide, yields were only reduced 4-6 percent in the hybrids compared to the untreated check. Although yields of the two treated hybrids were numerically different from the untreated check, McCoy says they didn’t differ statistically. Among the inbreds, the results were much more pronounced. The herbicides caused yield reductions of 10-32 percent, which are statistically different from the untreated check, he says.  MAY 2018

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Specialists

Keep eyes peeled for armyworms and planthoppers DR. M.O. “MO” WAY Submit a nomination for the 2018 Rice Consultant of the Year Award. Recognize an outstanding consultant or pest control adviser (PCA) for their dedication, leadership and innovation in the U.S. rice industry. For more information, go to ricefarming.com/rcoy or go to page 19 in this issue of Rice Farming.

Submit nominations by June 30, 2018.

S P O N S O R E D

B Y

TEXAS Rice Research Entomologist moway@aesrg. tamu.edu

Here in Texas, we’re off to a cold, rather wet spring, which creates a challenge for stand establishment. I hope the weather warms soon. This month, I want to talk about mid-season insect pest control for Texas rice farmers. If you did not treat your seed with an insecticide to control rice water weevil, I suggest you apply a labeled pyrethroid or Belay just before your permanent flood. You can also apply Dimilin 2L soon after your permanent flood. So there is no excuse for not controlling this root-feeding pest. The treatment threshold for the rice water weevil is very low; most untreated fields will develop above-threshold populations of rice water weevil larvae. Also, be on the lookout for fall armyworm. In Texas, we generally see infestations of this pest crop up around Mother’s Day (mid-May), but I have observed earlier and later infestations, including heavy populations on the ratoon crop.

Speaking If you treated your seed with Dermacor X-100, you should get good control of this defoliator even into your ratoon crop. Labeled pyrethroids are effective, but you must scout your fields from emergence to ensure you control the larvae before significant defoliation occurs. Twenty percent defoliation is the treatment threshold for the fall armyworm. Although we have not observed the rice delphacid in Texas since 2015, still be on alert for this exotic pest. I have a hunch it blew in from Mexico or Central America during the late summer of 2015. The weather experts predict an active hurricane season in the Gulf this year, which could mean strong winds from the south impacting our Texas Rice Belt. So please scout your fields for this pest, too. If you observe small, active, hopping insects (about the size of leafhoppers) in your field or if you see your rice yellowing or discoloring for no apparent reason, contact me ASAP at moway@aesrg.tamu. edu, 409-658-2186 or 409-239-4265. Lastly, I want to mention a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity I was involved in last month at the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Andrine Shufran (Oklahoma State University), and Wizzie Brown and Molly Keck (both with Texas A&M University) organized and hosted this event for local elementary students. The students participated in fun “bug activities” to get them interested in science.

® Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (“DuPont”) or affiliated companies of Dow or DuPont.

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DR. M.O. WAY

Abbreviated Rules. No Purchase Necessary. Contest ends on 6/30/18 at 11:59:59 PM (CT). To enter, go to http://www.ricefarming. com/rcoy. Nominators must be legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and possess knowledge and/or experience in the rice farming industry. Entrants must be legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and serve as a rice consultant or as a pest control advisor in the rice farming industry. Subject to complete Official Rules found at http://www.ricefarming.com/rcoy. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268.

Dr. Andrine Shufran of Oklahoma State University (back row, second from right) helped students learn about bugs during InsectExpo 2018. RICEFARMING.COM


N O M I N A T I O N

Nominate an outstanding consultant or pest control adviser (PCA) for the Rice Consultant of the Year Award. “At Dow AgroSciences, we understand rice consultants have a vital role in the industry,” says Jaret Fipps, rice herbicides product manager, Dow AgroSciences. “Consultants have a big task in being asked to be experts on current conditions, evolving technologies and individual production needs to help growers manage successful operations. “As a thank you, we are sponsoring the Rice Consultant of the Year Award to provide an opportunity to recognize those who exceed expectations for their contributions to the rice industry.”

F O R M

Please use a separate page for biographical/professional information. Additional recommendations via letters or emails from other farmers, consultants and industry members are also encouraged to provide support for the nominee. See instructions at bottom left to submit these materials. Consultant’s Name: Company Name: Mailing Address: City:

State:

Phone:

Email:

Zip:

Please describe the dedication, leadership and innovation that makes this person a good candidate for the 2018 Rice Consultant of the Year Award. The RCOY award recipient will be honored in a four-page salute in Rice Farming magazine and at a special recognition event. A one-night’s hotel stay and round-trip travel to the event will be provided for the award recipient and the nominator.

Submit nominations by June 30, 2018. Options to submit supporting materials: E-mail: csmith@onegrower.com Mail: Carroll Smith 7201 Eastern Ave. Germantown, TN 38138

Your Name: City:

State:

Online: ricefarming.com/rcoy

Phone:

Email:

Address:

S P O N S O R E D

Zip:

B Y

Abbreviated Rules. No Purchase Necessary. Contest ends on 6/30/18 at 11:59:59 PM (CT). To enter, go to http://www.ricefarming.com/rcoy. Nominators must be legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and possess knowledge and/or experience in the rice farming industry. Entrants must be legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and serve as a rice consultant or as a pest control advisor in the rice farming industry. Subject to complete Official Rules found at http://www.ricefarming.com/rcoy. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Dow AgroSciences LLC, 9330 Zionsville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (“DuPont”) or affiliated companies of Dow or DuPont.

®


Specialists

Speaking

Activities included eating fried, seasoned insects (I think crickets or mealworms); learning about the biology of blowfies and making art with the maggots; observing bed bugs feeding on a blood meal; learning about the various mouthparts of insects by actually mimicking their feeding activities; etc. It was obvious by all the smiles, laughter and big eyes that the kids had a great time while learning about entomology!

Single pre-flood N application sets plant up for high yields SAM ATWELL

MISSOURI Agronomy Specialist atwells@missouri.edu Due to a long dry fall, Missouri growers have leveled and prepared their fields and are ready to plant. Recent rains have saturated our soils, so early seeding has been delayed, which is OK because we still have time to plant our estimated 200,000 acres. Early insects and diseases reduce yield and quality and increase production cost, which lowers profit. I follow University of Arkansas recommendations to always plant treated seed. Integrated plant management and consultants are a great invest-

Dustin Harrell answers N management questions DR. DUSTIN HARRELL LOUISIANA Extension Rice Specialist dharrell@agcenter.lsu.edu

Nitrogen is one of the largest expenses in a rice production budget. Efficient use of fertilizer N not only helps maximize grain yield, but it also helps lower fertilization rates, lower fertilizer expenses and minimize negative effects on the environment. There are a handful of questions that I get asked annually regarding N fertilization, and I thought I would take the time to answer a few of the most common. Q: Are starter fertilizers beneficial and should they be counted toward your seasonal N rate goal? A: First, starter N applications most often do not result in a yield increase at the end of the year. However, an increase in early season vegetative growth is often observed; therefore, a flood can be established earlier. This is particularly beneficial in weed management. Secondly, starter fertilizer N applications are the least efficient of all N application timings and should not be counted toward your targeted N rate total.

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ment, and we should never let our guard down checking fields. High-yielding hybrid and conventional varieties need to be scouted closely for early insect and disease detection, so control applications can be made in a timely manner. Hybrid varieties generally have a better disease package, but don’t ignore scouting them. Although disease and insect pressure has been relatively low in Missouri the past few years, isolated areas of the state were hit hard by sheath blight, blast, stalk borers and stink bugs in 2017. Now is the time to nail down your 2018 fertility program. Starting in 2013, I was the old man on an otherwise young team that studied a single optimum preflood nitrogen application by monitoring the plant N status using the GreenSeeker handheld at midseason compared to a split N application system. On most soils, research has shown that a single application of an optimum amount of N before flooding results in equal or better yields than the traditional two- or three-way split application and usually requires less total N to achieve maximum yields. The pre-flood N is critical for determining potential grain yield regardless of whether split or single applications are used. The number of panicles (heads) and the number of grains per panicle are determined by the pre-flood N application. Our work has shown that the new, early maturing varieties are more adapted to the single pre-flood system. The split application can’t always completely recover the yield of stressed plants. Milling yield (percent head rice) also benefits from proper

Q: When should I use a urease inhibitor on my pre-flood N? A: Urease Inhibitors should only be used when urea is the fertilizer source and when potential volatilization (gaseous) losses make the use of them economically viable. The use of a urease inhibitor typically is economical when the potential exists for approximately 10 percent of the N to be lost to the atmosphere. In most years, this generally occurs somewhere around three to five days on a dry soil. If urea is applied on wet or moist soil without any standing water, a urease inhibitor should always be used. If urea is applied into standing water, a urease inhibitor should not be used because it will not be beneficial. Approved urease inhibitors for Louisiana include one or more of the following active ingredients: NBPT, NPPT and Durimide. Q: Why is it OK to apply mid-season N into the water but not OK to apply pre-flood N into water? A: By mid-season, rice has developed an extensive root system that can actually out-compete N losses at this stage of development. So flying N fertilizer into the water at midseason is not a problem. In fact, research has shown that N applied at midseason is taken up almost completely in as few as three days. Conversely, when pre-flood N is thrown into standing water early in the season, rice does not have a very big root system, and it will take approximately three weeks for this N to be taken up by rice. A lot of N can be lost by volatilization and nitrification-denitrification over a three-week period. RICEFARMING.COM


Specialists

Speaking

N fertilization when maximum grain yield is produced. Where management practices allow, our work suggests to use the optimum pre-flood N application. A split application can still be used effectively as long as the pre-flood N application is managed correctly. A nitrogen reference strip in your field and the GreenSeeker can make your N decisions much easier. I’m retiring for the third time in May, so this will be my last article. I want to thank Dr. Bobby Huey of the University of Arkansas for teaching me rice production starting in 1970. Also thanks to all university professors, consultants, industry farmers and everyone across the U.S. Rice Belt. Most of all, I thank God for giving me the health and strength to wade the mud.

In some cases, mycelium and sclerotia, the resting state of the fungus, are growing inside of the culm of a stem-rot-infected plant.

Straw residue management tops stem rot control options

DR. LUIS ESPINO, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION

DR. LUIS ESPINO

CALIFORNIA UCCE Rice Farming Systems Adviser laespino@ucanr.edu In the past few years, the number of calls I have received about disease management has increased considerably. Most of them were about stem rot, a disease that seems prevalent in many areas of the Sacramento Valley. Stem rot is a fungal disease. In the fall, the fungus forms resting structures called sclerotia inside infected tillers. These sclerotia survive in crop residue during the winter and are incorporated into the soil in the spring with ground work. When the field is flooded, the sclerotia float to the surface and infect rice tillers when conditions are appropriate. Infected tillers develop black lessions on the outer sheaths. These lessions can grow and penetrate the tiller and rot it through, interfering with the movement of water and nutrients from the roots to the panicles. Stem rot is not a new problem; it’s been present in California since the beginning of rice cultivation. In the past, the main control method was residue burning. Burning kills the sclerotia that are inside the tissue, therefore keeping the sclerotia levels in the soil at a minimum. Since burning is now difficult, the second best strategy is to chop and disk the straw in the fall to get good straw decomposition during the winter. The sclerotia don’t survive long if they are not inside rice tissue. Another good alternative is to bale, but try to cut the straw as close to the ground as possible to remove the sclerotia, which are mostly located in the tiller at the water level. Leaving the straw on the soil surface is not a good idea since sclerotia will survive in the tissue and accumulate in the soil over the years. At this point, varietal resistance is not a feasible strategy. All of our varieties are equally susceptible to stem rot. If there are differences, they are due to nitrogen fertilization. Past research has shown that higher N rates result in more seTWITTER: @RICEFARMING

vere stem rot. Therefore, varieties that require lower rates of N tend to have fewer stem rot problems. Another factor to consider is plant density. Thick stands tend to be more susceptible to stem rot than thinner stands. Fungicide trials I conducted last year showed that Quadris application at the maximum label rate during the heading stage can reduce the incidence and severity of stem rot. Stem rot severity reduction ranged from 43 to 79 percent and resulted in yield increases that ranged from 250 to 700 pounds per acre. One common question I get is whether it would be better to control stem rot earlier, around propanil application time. I tried using this timing last year, but I did not get good control. I will repeat the early application timing again this year to confirm the result. The best strategy to manage stem rot is to use several of the tactics I discussed, but the key is going to be residue management. Good straw decomposition will help reduce the number of viable sclerotia in the soil, minimizing the severity of the disease during the season. In cases where the disease is already well established, a fungicide application will help.

Flood up and deal DR. JARROD HARDKE

ARKANSAS Asst. Professor/Rice Extension Agronomist University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service jhardke@uaex.edu Toward the end of May and really into June, most of the rice crop will be ready to start flooding, depending on conditions. This is the time when we will begin to set our first yield component — number of tillers and with it the number of potential MAY 2018

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Specialists Speaking panicles. To start the crop off on the road to success, it’s important that we properly time our essential management decisions. It’s critical that we get proper weed control going into flood so we limit, or hopefully remove, weed competition from our rice. A good residual herbicide program, coupled with any needed post-emergence products for emerged weeds, is critical to starting and staying weed free. Spending a little extra at this time is much cheaper than trying to get weeds back under control with salvage applications where we missed. Most salvage applications are very expensive. There isn’t much we can throw out there that will act as a true “salvage.” Many turn into revenge applications where much of the damage is already done and the large weeds may or may not be controlled. Control them early with an intent to avoid salvage situations. Even when these fields end up clean, growers can be left wondering why yields were low — early season weed competition is real! Consider using multiple-inlet irrigation to speed the time to establish a permanent flood on the entire field. This will provide you with the greatest nitrogen efficiency over the whole field. Additionally, herbicide activation and residual weed control will occur in a timely fashion and prevent us from getting behind there as well.

A quickly established, well-maintained flood should be combined with the use of a GreenSeeker reference plot (see the April edition of Rice Farming and the 2018 Rice Farming for Profit publication, http://uaex.edu/rice, for more information). This reference plot can help us to use a GreenSeeker handheld at midseason to see if we need any additional nitrogen at this timing. Where our preflood nitrogen is well incorporated in a timely manner, many will be surprised where midseason nitrogen is not recommended and that money can be saved. It can also show us fields where we failed to get proper preflood nitrogen uptake and need to apply midseason nitrogen. Each year, I’m surprised at the number of “automatic” fungicide applications made in rice. For diseases such as blast and the smuts, there is no threshold and we must make automatic preventative applications when we know we have fields or cultivars with these issues. For sheath blight, there is an established threshold, and we need to use it to spend our money on fungicides when we need it rather than make automatic applications. It’s nice to see an improvement in rice prices, but we need to be smart with our expenses to maximize economic return. Many day-to-day in-season questions can be answered with recommendations found in the 2018 Rice Farming for Profit publication.

Cool April weather slows Louisiana rice Cool April weather has slowed growth of recently planted crops, especially rice. The season started with good planting conditions in March. “But the cool weather set in after emergence, and everything just slowed down,” says Louisiana State University AgCenter Extension rice specialist Dustin Harrell. By mid-April, he says, rice plants should be at the four- to five-leaf stage and ready to flood, but most are at two to three leaves. Harrell doubts the weather will affect this year’s crop in the long run. “As long as we’re not having freezing temperatures, it’s just delaying the growth and development of the rice crop,” he says. Some farmers are changing their herbicides to avoid injuring young rice, and flooding fields has been delayed because plants are shorter than usual. Last year, the crop growth was slowed by flooding rains and cloudy weather, Harrell says. Extension associate Keith Fontenot, with the AgCenter rice verification program, says some farmers who water-seeded their crop are having to replant because high winds caused seed to drift to one side of a field.

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RICE FARMING

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MAY 2018

BRUCE SCHULTZ/LSU AGCENTER

By Bruce Schultz

LSU AgCenter research associate Carl Dischler marks research plots of young rice at the AgCenter’s H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station near Crowley. Cool weather in April delayed growth and development of the rice crop.

“We did see some leaf tips dried out from the wind and the cold,” Fontenot says. Jay Grymes, LSU AgCenter adjunct climatologist, says March temperatures were 2 to 3 degrees above normal. “April has been running cool, 2 to 4 degrees below the norm for the two-plus weeks for northern Louisiana, and 1 to 3 degrees below the norm for the southern half,” he says. April so far has been wetter than normal for many parishes, and that could delay the soil from warming, Grymes says. Bruce Schultz is an assistant communications specialist with the LSU AgCenter in Crowley, Louisiana. RICEFARMING.COM


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