There’s a hard truth farmers in the nation’s top rice-growing state are facing as they look to salvage the growing season from floodwaters: the calendar isn’t your friend.

“With about 50 percent of the crop left to plant and much of the state likely to be flooded until May 20, we are reaching decision time,” said Chuck Wilson, interim director of the Rice Research and Extension Center of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

Wilson said that in the past, agronomists recommended cut-off dates for specific varieties, but have moved away from that practice and now provide more general guidelines for late-planted rice. 

“In general, late-planted rice is anything planted beyond May 10 in northern Arkansas, May 15 in central Arkansas and May 20 in southern Arkansas. Specific variety recommendations on June seeding dates need to be based on yield performance in seeding date studies, disease ratings, seed availability and planned seeding date.”

Predicted relative yield potential for drill seeded rice in central Arkansas by seeding date.

 

Relative Yield

Potential

Actual Yield Potential

Seeding Date Range

Percent

Bu/A

Begin

Cut-off

95.0 - 100.0

166 - 175

March 23

May 20

90.0- 94.9

158 - 165

May 21

June 1

85.0 - 89.9

149 - 157

June 2

June 11

80.0 - 84.9

140 - 148

June 11

June 18

70.0 - 79.9

123 - 139

June 19

June 30

†   Actual yield potential is based on a 100 percent relative grain yield of 175 bu/A at 12 percent moisture.

Producers also need to look at their alternatives and see how they compare to June-planted rice. “I have planted rice around July 1 a couple of times but have never gotten it to mature enough to harvest. The potential returns from other crops such as soybeans or corn should be compared to rice planted during the same window.”

Rice was 53 percent planted for the week ending May 8, up from 45 percent the previous week and 43 percent of the     crop was emerged, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

According to the prospective plantings report issued by NASS, Arkansas rice growers were expected to plant 1.401 million acres in 2011, down from 1.79 million last year.

For more information on crop production contact your county Extension agent, visit www.uaex.edu or visit www.arkansascrops.com.