Neck blast of rice is in the Arkansas crop along with bacterial panicle blight.

“We are currently observing widespread neck blast of rice in Arkansas for the third year in a row. It is largely occurring on the rice varieties CL 151, CL 261, Francis, Jupiter and at lower levels on Wells and CL 142,” reports Whitney Ginn and Rick Cartwright of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Distinguishing between bacterial panicle blight and early neck blast symptoms is not difficult, with some practice. The linked pdf file Identifying Bacterial Panicle Blight and Neck Blast of Rice in Arkansas contains photographs and tips for help in identifying the diseases.