Visitors to the Aug. 4 Arkansas Rice EXPO will learn how they can take advantage of a ground-breaking nitrogen soil test with the potential to increase the profitability and sustainability of rice production. The EXPO will take place at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Rice Research and Extension Center outside Stuttgart, Ark.

Presentations at a field tour stop on “soil fertility and environmental related research” will also include how to distinguish effective rice fertility enhancement products from those with unverified claims, and research on potential environmental impacts of rice production.

Trenton Roberts, research assistant professor, will discuss the full release of N-ST*R for silt loam soils. The Nitrogen Soil Test for Rice was developed in a research project led by Roberts and Professor Richard Norman and supported by the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board and the Rice Foundation.

Tests in collaboration with Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A&M found that N-ST*R can predict nitrogen rates for rice produced across the Mid-South, Roberts said.

At the Rice EXPO, Roberts will provide details on the N-ST*R rollout for silt-loam soils and progress on the development of N-ST*R for clay soils. He will also discuss studies of the relationship between site-specific nitrogen rates and plant diseases.

  • Fertility Amendments.

Nathan Slaton, director of the Division of Agriculture’s Soil Testing and Research Program, will discuss research to verify claims of some new fertilizer amendment products in a project supported by the Arkansas Rice Research and Promotion Board.

“It appears that high fertilizer prices and environmental concerns have created a market for products that claim to enhance the uptake of nutrients in the soil or from fertilizer that farmers apply,” Slaton said. “Little or no credible research is available on either the mode of action or the actual performance of many such products.”

  • Environmental Research. 

Richard Norman will present research he is conducting with graduate student Chris Rogers and Professor Kris Brye on greenhouse gas emissions from rice fields; research by Assistant Professor Thad Scott on nutrient levels in tributaries of the Cache River Basin; and a study of water use and quality in rice fields with different levee systems by professors Mike Daniel and Andrew Sharpley.

The Rice Expo Aug 4 will open with registration at 9:30 a.m. from Tours will run from 10 a.m. to noon. Visitors can choose two of five tours on:

• Rice varieties, hybrid breeding, diseases.

• Clearfield rotations, rice weeds, pigweed in soybeans.

• Nitrogen management and environmental studies.

• Soybean varieties and diseases, soybean and rice insects.

• USDA-ARS research.

Chuck Barrett, the “Voice of the Razorbacks,” will be the lunch speaker. Activities include a trade show, equipment demonstrations and family and youth activities and booths with trap shooting, climbing wall, archery, ATV safety and more.

Directions and a schedule are at http://aaes.uark.edu/rice.html.