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Careful management needed for rice after cold weather

Recent cold weather has put emerged rice in cold shock and may have destroyed stands. If stands survive, it will take several days for growth to restart. Do not apply herbicides until at least one new normal green rice leaf appears.

Weeds are more likely to recover before the rice, which means more weed pressure. Partially damaged seedlings are likely to have white strips across the leaves, which were emerging when cold weather occurred. Also, more nitrogen will be needed when the recovered 3 to 4 leaf stage occurs, to stimulate tillering and compensate for low stands.

If stands are below eight plants per square foot in significant portions of the field, consider replanting. RiceTec recommends three to four plants as the replant cut off for hybrids. Replanting with command on a field may present problems. If command is incorporated prior to the seed imbibing moisture then germination will be reduced.

If command was applied to the first planting then the replant seeding-rate may need to be increased. Damaged fields are likely to be uneven which could impact yield and quality. There is still time to replant and make a second crop if planted before April 15.

Consult the ‘2006 Rice Production Guidelines’ ( for cold damage symptoms and stand recommendations.

Ted Wilson is a professor and center director at the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Beaumont, Texas.

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