I recently received a message from a farmer about comments I made on thin stands in a recent article. I was called to his farm last year to look at everything from Newpath injury on his hybrids to glyphosate drift injury to “couldn’t tell one from the other.” He was sick and ready to disk up everything he had and start over.
One side of me wanted to tell him to do so, but I have been taught to never give up on a rice field if there is anything green there, regardless of how bad it looks. I had to get him to drinking hot beer to talk him into keeping the fields. (Neither of us prefers hot beer, but that was all he had and his fields were that bad.)
He called to tell me his dry average was over 160 and the worst-looking field went over 190 bushels per acre. What he didn’t say was he was out an extra $75 per acre on fertilizer, pumping cost and additional weed control cost due to the glyphosate drift.
The weeds have awakened and so has the telephone. The residual herbicides that were applied early have started to break, and the grass is coming on.
With the warm temperatures we are finally having, some folks are saying, “Man, this grass is coming out of the ground three- and four-leaf. That is another way of saying, “The fields were so clean for so long that we were lulled to sleep.”
Now is the time to scout closely and clean them up going to flood.
A lot of folks want to go to flood with some extra residual herbicide. My base recommendations have been either Ricestar HT or propanil products such as SuperWham in combination with Facet, Quinstar or Command.
Several people have commented to me about price reductions on Facet, and it has been easier to talk them into getting the rates up to where they need to be. Your goal should be to have nothing in the field but rice when the flood is applied.
I have had a lot more questions on broadleaf weed control this year, especially in areas where the new 2,4-D regulations are in place. In some cases, substituting for 2,4-D is as simple as switching to a propanil plus Grandstand mix at midseason. For various reasons, some growers do not like that program.
If you are trying to avoid a midseason application for broadleaf weeds, you will have to consider broadleaf weeds with about every application you make. Facet or Quinstar can have good residual activity on coffeebean and indigo, but the rates need to be at the labeled rate for the soil texture.
This activity can be erratic and I rarely recommend Facet just for broadleaf control. However, where it works in for grass control, the broadleaf control can be a nice bonus.
Adding Aim or Permit, or combinations of these with a grass herbicide makes good broadleaf treatments. Reduced rates of Grandstand or combinations with Aim or Permit also make nice treatments-especially where indigo is a problem.
A lot of growers forget how much broadleaf activity that a gallon of propanil has. Duet can be a little weaker on grass than SuperWham, for example, but it has excellent broadleaf activity.
A treatment like Duet plus Facet plus Aim or Permit makes an excellent all around treatment.
Regiment is also finding more favor as a broadleaf herbicide especially in situations where the only grass is barnyardgrass. It has good activity on broadleaf weeds such as dayflower and small smartweeds and pretty good activity on coffeebean and indigo.
For preflood broadleaf weed control, no single treatment mentioned above fits every situation. I always consider the treatment needed for the grasses and sedges first and then add a supplemental broadleaf treatment, if needed, based on the weeds present and surrounding crop situation.
Having the field free of broadleaf weeds at flooding, however, is no guarantee that a midseason treatment will not be needed, especially on the levees.