There is a new weed control option for rice growers in Arkansas this season. Bayer CropScience has issued a 2ee recommendation to tank-mix Ricestar herbicide with Command and apply it by aerial application as allowed by the Section 24c special local needs label recently approved by the state of Arkansas.

According to Bob Scott, Extension weed specialist with the University of Arkansas in Lonoke, Ark., a typical weed control program in Arkansas for the last couple of years included two herbicide applications. Growers will use a soil-applied herbicide, Command, pre-emergence and then a postemergence herbicide right before flooding.

Applying Command by air has given growers some flexibility in weed control, and adding Ricestar to that option makes it more attractive.

“There are several benefits to applying Command by air,” explains Scott. “We get a lot of rain in Arkansas and growers may not be able to get a ground rig out to make applications of Command before emergence.

“Being able to tank-mix grass products such as Ricestar with Command and applying it later by air does a couple of things for growers. It can delay the Command application for a couple more weeks into the season, which may make it possible to get by until flooding with a single application of Command plus Ricestar — depending on the weeds you've got out there.

“It gives growers opportunities to pull levees following planting. Command goes out on top of the levees. Growers get better levee weed control than they might with Command just applied pre-emerge prior to the levees being pulled.”

“Applications of Ricestar and Command have performed well in South America. We see a real potential for growers to have the flexibility of applying a one-shot grass control program a little later and getting good residual grass control right up to flood,” says Sam Garris, technical service representative with Bayer CropScience.

According to Garris, Ricestar, a broad-spectrum grass herbicide, provides excellent weed control of tough-to-control grasses such as barnyardgrass, sprangletop, fall panicum and johnsongrass.

“It's best applied to grasses at the one- to four-leaf stage. One other benefit is that Ricestar provides excellent crop safety,” says Garris.