What a spring! For the longest my phone was the quietest for this time of the year that I can ever remember. Then university counterparts and other consultants began to say the same thing and ask if I knew, “what was wrong?”

We finally just concluded that because of wind, rain, floods and such, folks had either not been able to do enough to call or they were just disgusted and did not want to talk to anyone. Well that has all changed, the phone is ringing off the wall.

Rice calls are running the gamut from one extreme to the other. The “jailbreaks” are occurring in some fields.

I am recommending a lot of Regiment, a lot of Ricestar Ht plus Facet or Broadhead, HT plus Facet or a generic plus Permit or Halomax, and in Clearfield rice a lot of Beyond (and mixtures) in place of the second Newpath application.

The calls on aquatics where rice has been under water or seeded into backwater have not started yet but they will come.

Excessive wet or flooded conditions mean more aquatics and more sprangletop. The earlier you can get on the aquatics in conventional rice with mixtures like RiceBeaux or propanil with Londax, the easier it is to control. Regiment also has a place and Grasp comes to the front on larger ducksalad.

In Clearfield rice you can clean up some aquatic messes with Newpath and Londax. In the real fights, Beyond plus Grasp is outstanding.

The best sprangletop herbicides in conventional rice preflood are Command, Ricestar HT and Clincher.

In Clearfield rice Beyond has better postemergence activity on sprangletop compared to Newpath but often needs some help.

On the opposite end of the spectrum have been the calls saying, “Doc, I am scared but I have fields of three-leaf rice that I can not find any grass in — and I don’t have anything out on them.” I have walked some of those and they sure do make you second guess yourself.

Bobby Huey, mentor, former rice specialist, current landowner, and farmer and I walked some of his. He was bragging on his recent eye surgery and how he could see a fly on a cow across the pasture. We couldn’t find any grass. He called a week later wondering about his eye surgery because he still couldn’t find any grass!

A lot of weeds woke up late this year. On all of those clean field calls I have jumped up and down for the grower to get some more residual out ahead of a rain or flush. Killing them before you see them is much better than trying to kill them after you can see them.

On a lot of fresh-cut fields this spring where growers have been scared to use any residual herbicides I have suggested some real low rates of Facet and Command (like 0.25 plus 4 ounces) down preemergence and then repeat those as the rice grows. They have worked great.

Some are bound to say, “Uh-oh. He is recommending reduced rates again; what is our next resistant weed going to be?” In most fields we will wind up with labeled rates out there. It will just take a while.

I have been dinged a few times by some saying our reduced rate programs in Arkansas caused all of the resistant weed problems. There is a side to the argument that reduced rates may not be good and I am a big boy. However, it is interesting that most resistant weeds have first been discovered and documented outside Arkansas.

I get lots of calls about residual control of indigo or jointvetch. More growers wish to get away from a midseason herbicide treatment and that is understandable. Residual control of indigo can be hit or miss. However, my experience has been that Facet or quinclorac at higher rates and also Permit or Halomax at an ounce rate applied just prior to flooding can sometimes provide good residual control. Where possible, I recommend mixing the Facet or quinclorac with the Permit or Halomax.