Rice Growers Get Word On Preparing For Season

   St. Martin Parish rice and soybeans producers heard preseason advice from LSU AgCenter experts about preparing for this year’s crops.
   LSU AgCenter weed scientist Eric Webster said rice farmers should be getting their fields ready for planting by spraying for weeds now.
   An aggressive approach now will provide a better seedbed. “Broaden your herbicide spectrum with multiple modes of action,” he said.
   Herbicide-resistant weeds – barnyardgrass in St. Landry Parish and Palmer amaranth in Acadia Parish – have been found, Webster said. But he suspects seeds from Palmer amaranth had become mixed with soybean seeds.
   LSU AgCenter rice specialist Johnny Saichuk said he found patches of herbicide-resistant red rice in a field in Evangeline Parish, and he recommended that the farmer to kill it with spot applications of glyphosate, even though it killed some nearby rice.
   Webster said the new Provisia herbicide for conventionally bred herbicide-resistant rice probably will be available from BASF in 2017. The corporation announced the product last week at the Rice Technical Working Group meeting in New Orleans.
   LSU AgCenter rice breeder Steve Linscombe said the Caffey medium-grain rice variety awaits approval by the Kellogg Co. for its line of rice products. “They are about 99.9 percent sure it will be approved,” he said.
   The Catahoula variety has proven to have good resistance to blast disease, so its seed production was increased for this year, Linscombe said. The Cocodrie variety, in existence for more than 15 years, remains a widely used option for farmers.
   Acreage is expected to decrease substantially for the Jazzman varieties this year. He said Vietnamese aromatic varieties have taken away some of the overseas markets where Jazzman has sold well.
   Two new varieties grown for seed this year, medium-grain CL271 and Clearfield Jazzman, will be ready for commercial production next year, he said.
   The check-off funds provided by farmers are an investment in the future of farming, Linscombe said. “Your check-off dollars are extremely critical in what we do for extension and research activities.”
   LSU AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry said rice prices have been creeping up the past few months because of decreased stockpiles.
   Texas and California crops are expected to decline because of water problems, but Arkansas is expected to grow more rice – as much as 100,000 to 400,000 acres over last year’s total of 1 million, he said. Prices should be in the range of $22 to $25 a barrel.
   Soybeans will be in the $11- to $12-a-bushel range. “Don’t wait for $13 soybeans,” Guidry said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen this year.”
   LSU AgCenter soybean specialist Ron Levy said the window for planting groups III and IV soybeans is April 15 through May 10.
   Levy said recent research he conducted has shown that burning soybean fields after harvest removes valuable nutrients.
   Also, Levy said soybeans resistant to the herbicides dicamba and 2,4-D are expected to be released next year.
   LSU AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown said kudzu bugs were found last year in four northeast Louisiana parishes, but they are not as bad of a pest as redbanded stinkbugs.
    Recent cold weather has not been severe enough to affect redbanded stinkbugs, he said.
    The threshold for spraying the insects has been dropped, Brown said, to four bugs out of 25 sweeps. The previous threshold was six out of 25 sweeps.
    Farmers should control weeds along the edges of fields that hold insects, he said. “By controlling your weeds, you will stop a lot of your insect issues.”
    LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Trey Price said most Cercospora disease in soybeans is resistant to fungicides. Development of a variety resistant to the disease would be a solution, but so far only tolerant varieties are available.∆
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