It will be interesting to see if weed control in the later planted rice goes as easily as it has in the earlier planted rice. In a lot of areas there was an extended break between planting dates due to prolonged wet weather.
On the later planted rice there is a good chance that conditions will be much drier. In the earlier planted rice, excellent soil moisture and timely rains made things easy.
In addition, more and more folks are learning to be more dependent on residual herbicides.
Ronnie Helms (well known rice consultant) made the comment the other day that this is the year folks re-discovered Facet. I have had a couple of other consultants make the comment that “Facet worked this year like it used to.”
There are a couple of obvious reasons.
The first reason has been excellent early moisture. Facet is like a hog, the wetter, muddier and nastier it is, the better it likes it.
Another obvious reason has been the price reduction with the generics such as Quinstar entering the market. This year instead of everyone messing around with 0.2 and 0.25 pound per acre rates, it seems if the standard rate has been 0.5 pound.
When you apply that rate and get good activating moisture then it is going to look like the Facet of old unless there are resistance issues.
I have looked at a lot of fields of easy weed control where Command was used earlier (Command performance has also been outstanding) and then a good rate of Facet was applied later in front of a rain or flush often before any grass had broken through the Command.
In some ways it is a gutsy call to apply a half-pound of Facet to a clean field. On the other hand if you know the grass will be coming, and more susceptible crops emerged later, it is often an outstanding decision.
The two main scenarios now are big grass in some of the earlier planted rice and the situations in the later planted rice.
On the big grass I have recommended a lot of Ricestar HT plus Facet where moisture has been good. I have also recommended some Facet just ahead of the flood or in a shallow flood if conditions were dry and sprangletop was not in the mix.
As the grass gets larger the situation will shift more towards Clincher or Clincher plus Facet in the flood if the grass is a mix of species. With Clincher, one of the keys is you have to hold the flood.
Regiment, with the new surfactant package, can also be an effective post-flood barnyardgrass herbicide.
Where the post-flood grass is sprangletop only, Ricestar HT post-flood is excellent. However, loose head sprangletop is much easier to kill than tight head (Christmas tree grass). You need a full rate of Ricestar HT or Clincher on tight head.
On the later planted rice, the key to good control will be to duplicate the situation we had on much of the earlier rice. If we do not get the nice timely rains it means you will have to flush.
Anytime you apply a residual herbicide such as Command, Facet, Quinstar or Newpath (residual component) it can be wasted money if moisture does not occur for activation. In addition, if it gets dry, postemergence herbicides such as propanil products, Ricestar HT, Facet and Newpath (postemergence component) and etc. will not work well.
It often means flushing ahead of the application.
The very worst case scenario is to apply a residual herbicide and not get it activated and then have it get too dry before deciding to apply a postemergence herbicide. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate.
However, as we get into our hotter and normally direr time of year the decision to flush for weed control must be made more quickly. Pull the flush trigger if the herbicide needs it and you want to avoid a grown up mess.