Growers flocking to winter meetings I have only spoken at a few grower meetings because the season is young. The crowds, however, have been huge at every meeting so far. That says either farmers are hungry for new information to survive or they were totally sick of being house-bound due to all the ice. Based on their attitudes, it seems as if the first reason is more correct.

I am spending most of my time on weed control in rice, because the technology continues to advance very quickly.

I am occasionally asked why I never write about cotton anymore. I do very little in cotton now for a couple of reasons. First, our rice program has become so large that it takes most of my time. That was a natural for me due to my location, the availability of the land on the UAPB farm, and also somewhat due to my interests. Another reason is when Dr. Barrentine came as Agronomy Department chairman, he had an interest in staying in the field some and wanted to do some cotton weed control research and Extension work. Also, we now have some stability in our weed science position at Monticello with Dr. Smith, and a big part of his assignment is in cotton.

In my grower meetings talks, I am spending a lot of time again on Command.

Last year some growers were uncomfortable with the level of crop injury they received. Bengal variety planted on cut soil, rates a little high, a few application problems, etc., got some people's attention.

Some data I am using in the meetings is included in the accompanying table. Just by luck, I wound up with a Command/Facet rate study on the deepest-cut part of my research area. My initial reason for the study was to show that it didn't matter how white you turned the rice, it all recovered and made equivalent yields. It didn't turn out that way.

Like some growers on cut soils, I had my worst Command injury ever. I had rates of 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8 pound active ingredient per acre. The two high rates were included to represent overlaps from the Arkansas Extension-recommended silt loam rate of 0.3 pound (12.8 ounces) or the labeled rate of 0.4 (16 ounces). The variety was Wells.

In the table, I show the visual injury at two times in the growing season and the yields. There was little difference in yield at the rates of 0.2 and 0.3 pound active ingredient per acre. The yields started dropping dramatically from there.

The year before, this was not the case. They were the same at all rates.

I don't think anyone understands why the injury was worse in 2000 than in 1999. I hope we saw it at its worst. If you were happy with the rate you used last year, stick with it. If you had too much injury in some of these sensitive situations, there are places where you can back the rate down to 0.2 pound active ingredient per acre or 0.5 pint per acre. In this situation, grass pressure was heavy and the rate of 0.5 pint per acre held until flooding.