I have had several comments about my articles on not having anything in the field but rice and soil at flooding. At least some are taking heed.
I often tell callers that you do not need any weeds out there just to keep the drill rows spaced correctly. They will stay perfectly spaced on their own.
I have also had a lot more callers mention that they are adding a herbicide, or changing herbicides, or thinking a certain way on a described situation for resistance management. That is also a good sign that some are heeding the message.
I am often asked, “Am I doing enough for resistance management?” My response is always, “Are you doing all you can?” I am still concerned that too many people are unwilling to change programs until they are forced to. Our objective is to try to get ahead of the resistant weeds, not chase them.
As I write this, the winds seem to have calmed down for a few days. Hopefully, this will allow everyone to catch up on spraying without getting into a train wreck with drift problems. After we lost two weeks of spraying time to the wind I was becoming extremely concerned that we were headed for major drift problems when everyone pushed the panic button. So far that does not seem to have happened.
However, everyone must be extremely careful. Soybeans have emerged around a lot of the rice fields where applications have been delayed. That makes it more difficult to get herbicides like propanil, Permit, Grandstand, Regiment, and Grasp applied — especially if the field is surrounded by soybeans. The herbicides you can blow right over the soybeans are Clincher, Ricestar HT, Blazer, Storm, Newpath and Beyond. I recommend a lot of Ricestar HT plus Storm in those situations. It may not perfectly fit the situation, but it is often the only choice.
It is glyphosate spraying time in soybeans with seedling rice everywhere. Please be careful. Also, a lot of conventional rice borders or is in close proximity to Clearfield rice. I looked at a field recently where the rice was hammered and a contaminated airplane was suspected. It had an obvious drift pattern from the south in it and I immediately ruled out the spray application. As I quizzed everyone, the comment was made “that field to the south is Clearfield but it is a quarter mile away. Newpath won’t drift that far will it?” It sure will if the wind is blowing enough. Again be aware and be careful.
The spray delays, combined with situations in some areas where it has rained too much and in other areas where it has not rained since the season began, are bring the “throw the book away” situations out of the wood work. Most of them involve a broad spectrum of large weeds. I will not attempt to address them here because most situations are different. Just call.
As an overall comment though I would say that you can often only do so much with a single application regardless of how many herbicides are thrown together. As much as you would like to save an application, often you just have to decide what to go after first and then go after what is left with another application.
It is time to fuss a little and it is not aimed at any particular company or individual. Perhaps if I worked for industry I would better understand the zero inventory mentality. However, I have never been able to comprehend what is so complicated about making enough of a herbicide to insure adequate supply for the season and then get it in place well before it is needed. Companies spend millions all winter on advertising as well as wining and dining people like me to recommend their products and then when it comes crunch time there is no supply.
One of the most frustrating things for a consultant (whether in the public or private sector) is to work through a recommendation only to find the best-fit product is unavailable. Also, where does the ultimate customer, the farmer, fit into that equation?