Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Circles for Rice Update | by Kelly Downing

Although I haven’t been able to visit any of our rice cooperators’ fields lately, I have been talking with the folks who have. Derrol Grymes, of RiceTec, visited Dean Schieffer’s farm today, near Bryan, Texas. As we have seen the past couple of weeks, Dean has a little weed pressure; there is a bit of fall panicum, but it is nearing the end of its growth stage, and we expect the rice to out - compete it for the rest of the season. You might remember there was a little bindweed (small-stem morning glory) in the field. They are preparing to apply a tank mix of Stam, Aim, and Storm. This is a bit tricky, since this rice field abuts some other crops, including grain sorghum and cotton. Even with the weed pressure, Derrol likes the look of the rice, so we will continue to monitor progress. 
In the Mid-South, our rice specialist John Robison has been checking fields weekly, and reports that the fields there all look very good. The rice is vigorous and seems to be tillering well. They have had a little rain the past week or two, which helps everybody. 
Dennis Robison and Chad Price, who have grown rice with pivots previously, are well into their irrigation programs, and applying a bit of fertilizer. Jeremy Baltz, as you recall, had a severe sandstorm right after planting (fortunately, prior to emergence), but since then the rice has grown well and looks good. Having a pivot has helped to control blowing sand since that early event, and his crop is growing well.
I don’t know about your part of the country, but this has been a warm, dry spring here in eastern Nebraska. We finally got a nice rain (2” – 3”) this weekend, and now it is in the 90s, so everything is growing fast. My wife’s garden is really producing—she has had bumper crops so far (radishes, lettuce, peas, cabbage) and the later stuff (sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers) is really coming on, too. Unfortunately, the same goes for the grass in the lawn. Normally, out on our farm, we don’t have to mow much in the summer, but this big rain will keep us (okay, her) busy mowing for at least a couple of weeks!
As warm as it has been, I have to remind myself that, technically, summer hasn’t even begun yet! So, as we approach the beginning of the season, I hope your crops are doing well, and your weeds aren’t. Have a great (and safe) summer, and stay in touch.
We will be sure to post photos of the rice under center pivot fields when we can get them. I would also be interested in hearing how things are going with your crops—both flood and pivot-irrigated. How do things look in your neighborhood? Are there any particular problems that are unique this year?