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Rice weed control: It just got easier

These are fast times for rice producers. New technology, chemicals and management practices are coming at them at a fast and furious pace.

The advancements are for the most part good for Delta rice production. And if they aren't good, rice researcher Mark Kurtz is there as a buffer to test and retest in-field conditions and make recommendations based on how the advancements can enhance rice production to make it easier and more efficient and bring the end result of high-yielding and high-quality rice.

At the recent Soybean/Rice Field Day at the Delta Research and Extension Center at Stoneville, Miss., Kurtz, a weed specialist, waded out among his research plots to show growers the performance of various verification trials.

One research area that's been interjected into Kurtz's program out of necessity is an evaluation of herbicide drift onto rice and how that drift affects rice growth and yield.

“I continue to look at drift of herbicides onto rice,” he says. “I'm looking at Newpath and Beyond on non-Clearfield rice and at glyphosate products and Select on conventional rice.

“Newpath on early rice will cause stand loss and will yellow the rice and make it look very sick,” says Kurtz. “Depending on the severity of drift, this rice will recover and produce a crop. However, it will be a later-maturing crop and won't yield as well as non-injured rice.”

Beyond will go out much later, so drift will affect rice at panicle initiation to booting. “As little as three-fourths of an ounce per acre will delay heading, and, I suspect, will reduce yields drastically.”

Kurtz says higher rates, such as 1.5 to 3 ounces per acre at early boot, will probably keep rice from producing a head.

“Glyphosate, depending on drift timing, will produce the same symptoms as the imidazolinones (Newpath and Beyond).” he says. “However, drift rates of 2 or 4 ounces an acre at panicle initiation will delay heading, but the rice will eventually put out a head with reduced yields.”

Other research under Kurtz's direction this growing season includes new herbicides, even some yet-to-be labeled products.

“Grasp, a new broadleaf herbicide from Dow, will control barnyardgrass,” says Kurtz. “It's good on smartweed and Texas weed.”

“Ricestar HT from Bayer is the same as Ricestar but with less safener. I'm looking at higher rates of 22 to 25 ounces per acre,” he says.

He's using Beyond from BASF at 5 ounces per acre after two, 4-ounce-per-acre treatments of Newpath for red rice control in Clearfield rice.

With the goal of enhancing some herbicides available to growers, Kurtz put UAN with Regiment to bring more uniform barnyardgrass control.

“This may help get Regiment into the grass faster, but I'm still dealing with preliminary data on that.

“I'm also looking at mixing Super Wham at 5 quarts per acre with Clincher at 5 ounces an acre for barnyard grass control. Preliminary data show that synergism may be occurring,” he says.

Eva Ann Dorris is an ag journalist from Pontotoc, Miss. She can be reached at 662-419-9176 or [email protected].

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