I have had quite a few calls and questions regarding the past couple of articles in which I emphasized getting at least two residual herbicide applications out in rice before you ever see any grass.
I do not wish to belabor the point, but since folks are obviously interested and rain has delayed planting, I am going to hit the topic one more time.
The rice herbicides that have residual activity are Command, Facet or Quinstar, Prowl and Newpath.
Everyone who calls has a little different take on how they want to accomplish getting two applications out. As I wrote in previous articles, there are a lot of combinations and different ways you can do it. I am a lot more concerned that you get at least two out there than I am which two or in what order.
I have had a couple of callers ask, “Why make two applications — why can’t I just load up a full dose of Command and Facet and apply it behind the drill?”
You can, and I sometimes recommend it where sensitive crops, towns, etc., may make subsequent applications difficult. However, in most situations I like a split better.
First, you may reduce the injury risk with a split application. I get a lot of calls where growers are reluctant to use full rates of Command on the hybrids. The split applications provide a nice way around this. You can apply a reduced rate of Command at planting, and if you need some more, add it to the next trip across the field.
Another thing I like about split applications is you do not put all of your eggs in one basket and lock yourself into the same rainfall to activate a big single rate treatment like a Command plus Facet up front. If you get a full or partial rate of Command or a Prowl plus Facet or Quinstar treatment out shortly after planting and get it activated, and then get some more Command, Prowl, or Facet/Quinstar (or Newpath in Clearfield rice) out and get it activated, you are way ahead of the game.
Another thing I like about split applications of Command or combination split application treatments is they lengthen the residual period compared to a single treatment.
I learned a lot from a field consultant the summer my wife scouted some of his fields while he recovered from surgery. It was dry and all of the late-planted rice had to be flushed up. He warned her how heavy the barnyardgrass pressure was on the farm and suggested that we use Command and flush it in (we had to flush to get a stand anyway) and then use a half-pound of Facet and flush it in (which we needed a second flush to finish the stand anyway). It was a lot of money up front but it sure made her look good.
He told me something else that stuck with me and that was “never waste a flush.” What he meant was if you are going to have to flush, take advantage of it to get some residual herbicide out and activated. You can do the same thing with a timely rainfall.
The combination you use does not have to be Command followed by Facet. It can be done a lot of different ways. Weather patterns and personal preference play a big role in choices.
I get questions about Prowl alone, and I am not a big fan. My experience is Prowl alone is too erratic to spend the application cost on. On the other hand, if you can let it ride along in the tank with something else, it can provide a nice additive effect.
My purpose with this continuing theme on residual herbicides is not to say they will solve all of the weed problems. What I hope to head off though is a lot of the horror stories from last year where guys were calling with grassy messes and had already spent a fortune on postemergence herbicides.
Barnyardgrass control is just a lot different now than it was a few years ago. Whether the field is in Clearfield or conventional rice, barnyardgrass is just easier to control pre-emergence than postemergence.
Base a plan around the available residual herbicides and take advantage of every rain or flush prior to flood to keep hitting the grass before you ever see it.