Rice planting is proceeding in spurts between rains. Most producers are excited about pricing prospects, and it would seem as if farmers will plant more rice than some thought — if the weather permits.

Hopefully, with the weekly rains everyone has been able to get some residual herbicides out and activated on the rice that has been planted. If the frequent rains continue, take advantage of them to get a second residual herbicide out and activated. Some are reluctant to spend the money when there is no grass emergence, but it can sure make weed control easy.

The Clearfield acreage will likely be at whatever level the seed supply allows. Most of you know that even though Newpath is capable of good grass control, I like getting some Command out preemergence. This usually takes care of the sprangletop problem and most of the early grass pressure out. This allows you to use the Newpath in the way that is needed to best control the red rice.

My favorite program is Command applied preemergence, followed by two applications of Newpath postemergence. If the Beyond label allowed it, my favorite program would often be a first postemergence application of Newpath with the second postemergence application being Beyond.

The reason I like the first application of Newpath as a postemergence treatment is assuming there is decent soil moisture you should kill the emerged red rice. Then if you do not get the residual component activated, you at least got something out of the treatment. If the first Newpath treatment is a soil application and you do not get it activated then you often get nothing out of the treatment.

There are still some farmers using a preplant incorporated application of Newpath for their first treatment. The preplant incorporated treatment followed by a postemergence treatment can work very well. There just are not a lot of folks willing to incorporate any more. I get calls about preemergence applications and that is my least favorite way to use Newpath.

As warm as the soil is now, red rice will emerge in five days. If the preemergence application of Newpath is not activated before emergence — the application will often fail. The preemergence treatment is often preferred if conventional rice has not emerged in adjacent fields. I sometimes recommend it even though I do not like it.

Keep in mind however if you use it and it fails, you likely still have to make two postemergence applications around the susceptible crop.

The timing of the first postemergence application of Newpath should be around 2-leaf red rice. I get a lot of questions about surfactant versus crop oil concentrate in Newpath. The research we conducted as well as other research I have seen has shown equal results. If you are tank mixing the Newpath, then use whichever adjuvant the tank mix partner calls for.

With the postemergence treatment, good soil moisture in the root zone is important. The first priority is to kill the red rice that is up. Then, if you get moisture to activate the residual component — it's a bonus. If the first postemergence application is made on a Clearfield hybrid, make sure the weather is warm. With very little early rice planted that should not be a problem this year.

Also, delaying the postemergence application on the hybrid to the 3-leaf stage can sometimes be an advantage. The hybrids simply are not as tolerant to Newpath and Beyond as the varieties. However, any early injury that occurs is usually outgrown. Making the application to rice that is a little larger may not eliminate the injury from occurring, but the larger rice seems to recover quicker.

I would normally not be writing anything about soil-applied herbicides this late. However, the rice crop is much later than normal.

I will get more into the postemergence options next week.