Delta Farm Press Logo

Row rice research covered at LSU Rice Field Day.

Ginger Rowsey, Senior writer

July 13, 2021

2 Min Read
Dustin in fieldjpg.jpg
Dustin Harrell, resident coordinator of the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, speaks to attendees of the facility’s 112th annual field day on June 30.Derek Albert, LSU AgCenter

Interest in furrow-irrigated rice, or row rice, is continuing to grow in Louisiana. Researchers began collecting statistics on row rice in their annual survey of producers in 2017. The amount of row rice in the state has doubled every year since then, topping 32,000 acres in 2020. That still only accounts for about 7% of Louisiana’s total rice acreage, but when you look at the northeastern region where the practice is really catching on, 30% of rice acres are furrow irrigated.

“There are many advantages to row rice, including reduced water use, less field work and more flexibility in planting decisions,” Dustin Harrell, resident coordinator of the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station said, “but there are challenges, too.”

“Anytime you grow rice in upland conditions, you’re going to make it more susceptible to blast. We only recommend rice varieties and hybrids that have really good blast resistance for this type of management practice. Stay away from Jupiter,” he added.

Other challenges include weed control and nitrogen management. The constant wetting and drying of the soil cause more nitrogen to be lost as compared to flooded rice production.

Harrell served as LSU’s Extension rice specialist before taking over as the Resident Coordinator of the Rice Research Station in February. He continues to do agronomic research and presented his latest work in fertilizer efficiency during one of the field day stops. While he says more research is needed before they can publish best management practices, early results indicated that in a row rice system, nitrogen is most efficiently applied using multiple applications.

“Our preliminary research has shown that furrow-irrigated rice generally takes more nitrogen than flooded rice. Our early results suggest that approximately 100 pounds more of urea is needed in a furrow irrigated field as opposed to a flooded field. We’ve also seen that spoon feeding the nitrogen with three or four applications is the best way to go to maximize fertilizer efficiency,” he said.

“The time needed between applications has varied, but overall if you’re applying that first application just before tillering, the second application is generally applied 10-14 days later, and then the third and fourth our best applied 7-10 days apart,” he added.

“We’ve also seen that urease inhibitors have a fit in row rice like they do in flooded rice, but we see a little bit of an advantage with nitrification inhibitors in row rice. We really don’t need nitrification inhibitors in our flooded rice because that flood stabilizes the nitrogen.”

About the Author(s)

Ginger Rowsey

Senior writer

Ginger Rowsey joined Farm Press in 2020, bringing more than a decade of experience in agricultural communications. Her previous experiences include working in marketing and communications with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. She also worked as a local television news anchor with the ABC affiliate in Jackson, Tennessee.

Rowsey grew up on a small beef cattle farm in Lebanon, Tennessee. She holds a degree in Communications from Middle Tennessee State University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee at Martin. She now resides in West Tennessee with her husband and two daughters.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like