Rice Solutions

 Matthew Rhine, research associate with the University of Missouri Delta Research Center
 discussed some of the different research under way by the cropping systems project at the              
 University of Missouri.

 Photo by John LaRose, Jr.

Research Promises Help For Pitfalls Of Raising Rice

MidAmerica Farmer Grower

   Rice research in the Missouri Bootheel took the limelight recently when Matthew Rhine, research associate with the University of Missouri Delta Research Center spoke on the topic. He offered information on some of the different research under way by the cropping systems project at the University of Missouri.
   “We have a DD50 validation in which we use all the different varieties that we can come up with that are available here in southeast Missouri and try to format those for use here in conjunction with our crop modeling DD50 program. So we plant each of those varieties and we track the growth stages from them to see if they are following the pattern that we are predicting with the crop model,” Rhine explained.
   “We also use this test as a nitrogen validation, where we apply 75 percent, 100 percent and 125 percent of our nitrogen rates to see if we’re recommending the proper nitrogen rate for that particular variety,” he said. “In 2015 we found that our RiceTec hybrids produced the most yield, most of all being RiceTec XP760. It produced yields upwards of 220 bushel  to the acre. As far as conventionals are concerned, our best lines were Roy J, Lakast and Mermentau, each producing over 200 bushels per acre.”
   The trial also included a Clearfield variety and six different varieties from Horizon Ag. The best lines there were the old varieties as CL151 and CL111 still lead the pack.
   “We also had a good yield for the medium grain CL271, and also in conjunction with that, we had a seeding rate test for a validation of CL172,” Rhine said. “We planted that in 20 pound increments, from 20 pounds all the way up to 120 pounds to the acre. We didn’t find a significant difference in yield from the 20 all the way up to the 120 pound rate. So if you are planting CL172 and experience stand loss from hail or insect damage, that particular variety can tolerate quite a bit of stand reduction and still produce a good yield.”
   The 20 pound rate produced an average of 192 bushel to the acre. It does a really good job of compensating with tillers and other compensations to make a good yield despite a reduced stand. The trial also included a test on chalkiness in rice, That’s a hot topic right now with increased night temperatures late in the season leading to a reduction in rice quality.
   “We want to determine if there are any soil or foliar amendments that we can put on the field in order to reduce rice chalk,” he explained. “We found that things that delay maturity of the rice crop such as gibberellic acid or a late application of potash can increase rice chalk levels, because those particular treatments can delay maturity until the point where it gets into higher temperatures and lower soil moisture. Perhaps you’ve already drained the field off and it’s not quite mature, so anything that delays maturity can potentially increase rice chalk.”
   Another trial included some micronutrient studies where as many micronutrients as could potentially be found in southeast Missouri were evaluated. Findings showed a statistical yield boost from several materials that included important micronutrients for rice: sulfur, manganese, zinc especially. Those that contained one or a combination of these materials provided a 6 to 13 bushel yield boost over the untreated check.
   One thing also found was a yield reduction from the application of foliar iron. So a 4 1/2 percent iron application was detrimental to rice yield in this study.
   Rhine also discussed the crop water use app that Dr. Stevens is developing from the University of Missouri.
   “We’re formatting those water use curves for use in both pivot and furrow irrigated rice,” he said. “So, you can take that particular phone app and input your field coordinates, crop, and rooting depth and it will record the rainfall based off National Weather Service data and schedule your irrigations. The app shows when your water balance is going to trigger below a certain point and it allows you to plan several fields out in advance of when you need to apply irrigation. It really helps especially in a situation where furrow rice is so sensitive to water stress, and you want to be on top of that every time. So it really helps us, we’ve used it in 2015 in our furrow rice and had good success with it and we’ve been using it for pivot rice for four years. It’s an excellent program for that, and we’re fine tuning those curves each year as well.”
   As a take home message, Rhine stressed that hybrids have shown to outperform conventional varieties in yield by about 10 percent based on trials in 2015.
   “However, if your don’t want to spend that money on the hybrid seed, think about conventional varieties such as  Roy J, Lakast, or Mermentau. Those have been really good varieties in 2015 and have shown to be good in past trials.”
   Among Clearfield varieties, he suggested using CL151, which does really well. There are some issues with it but proper nitrogen management minimizes those issues. 
   “Considering chalkiness, be aware of anything that’s going to delay the maturity of that crop. Plant as early as you can, and stay away from amendments that are going to delay that maturity. You’ll be better off, not only with variety differences, but there are some management strategies that you can use to reduce chalk.
   “As far as the crop water use app, it will be ready this year for use in both pivot and furrow rice. Those water use curves are still being fine tuned but will still provide you a good way to schedule your irrigation for both pivot and furrow irrigated rice,” he summed. ∆
   BETTY VALLE GEGG-NAEGER: Senior Staff Writer, MidAmerica Farmer Grower
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