I have received a lot of calls asking when to make the first application of Newpath in Clearfield rice. There are a lot of different ways to use two applications of Newpath, and any of them can work.

However, I prefer the program where both applications are made postemergence unless there is a good reason that can not be done.

Preplant incorporated treatments can work well on silt loam soils where a nice seedbed is prepared prior to planting. If it fails, however, it usually fails completely.

Many of the calls I have received have been on situations where the rice is planted and a rain is forecast and the farmer is considering making the first Newpath treatment to take advantage of that.

Except in situations where adjacent crops will make later applications difficult to impossible, I recommend waiting until the first flush of red rice has emerged. Any treatment applied to the soil and not incorporated is a pre-emergence treatment and this has been the most inconsistent way to use Newpath.

Even when good moisture occurs for activation, the pre-emergence treatments have been more inconsistent than the preplant incorporated or postemergence treatments.

Also, if you assume the worst and the predicted rain does not occur, then the first Newpath treatment is blown unless you immediately flush. For some reason, I never seem to get a warm reception when I suggest flushing.

With a pre-emergence application of Newpath, you must have activating moisture within three to five days after application to receive much benefit from the treatment. In contrast, if you wait and apply the first Newpath treatment when the first flush of red rice is two- to three-leaf, you should kill it whether or not the residual component of the treatment gets activated.

The ideal situation is to have two- to three-leaf red rice and good soil moisture when the treatment is made, and then get a rain behind it to activate the soil residual component.

However, if the first flush of red rice is killed, I do not worry too much about whether the residual component is activated or not. The reason is you will be making another application in a couple of weeks and flooding.

If a soil-applied treatment does not get activated, you wind up making the second Newpath application at the time I like to apply the first one. When that happens, a Beyond treatment will likely be required. Therefore the program I like best is to apply the first application to two- to three-leaf red rice and then apply the second application just prior to flooding.

I get a lot of questions regarding substituting Beyond for Newpath. The 24-c registration for Beyond requires two applications of Newpath to be made prior to a Beyond application. BASF is pursuing a Section 3 or federal registration for Beyond. I do not know what the timetable is but hopefully they will move it along as quickly as possible.

In addition, I hope the federal registration will allow Beyond to be used at any postemergence timing. Being able to use either Beyond or Newpath at any postemergence timing would allow the grower or consultant to choose the treatment that best fits the situation.

Beyond has several advantages over Newpath. Two of the main advantages are better postemergence activity and less potential for carryover. It is also excellent on some of the aquatic species such as duck salad.

Beyond has far less residual activity than Newpath, which can be a disadvantage in certain situations. It obviously would not work well as a soil-applied treatment. In a program using two postemergence treatments, however, the lack of residual control is not a big disadvantage from a weed control standpoint and it can be a big advantage the following year.

A flexible Beyond label in my opinion will greatly improve our weed control capabilities in Clearfield rice.

e-mail: ford@weedconsultants.com