Louisiana Rice Harvest: Effects Of Wet July Now Clear

In southwest Louisiana, rice harvest was set to begin in early July. However, almost daily rains slowed progress significantly. We have recorded a measurable rainfall event in 16 out of the 26 days so far this month at the Rice Research Station, with a total rainfall accumulation of 5.45 inches.

Nine of those rains came on consecutive days between July 11 and July 19. Other people in the area have reported receiving over 7 inches of rain during that same time. Obviously, this has had an effect on early yields and late season disease pressure.

Early rice yield estimates were considered average to a bit low in some cases. Word-of-mouth reports averaged around the mid-40 barrel range (about 7,300 lb/A and 162 bushels/A), with many reports of rice in the upper 30 barrels and a handful in the upper 40 to 50 barrel/acre range.

This was discouraging, to say the least – especially considering how well this season started out. We had many mid to late-season problems associated with flooding, extended periods of overcast and rainy conditions and then mid-morning rains and high winds during flowering that definitely had an effect on this years’ crop.

View yield table.

Sheath blight pressure seems to be the biggest culprit for some of our lowest performing fields this year. The conditions have been perfect for the development of this disease. Dr. Don Groth, Extension Plant Pathologist, has put together a great article addressing why the sheath blight pressure has exploded this year.

This past week we actually have had a few consecutive days of dry weather and a lot more rice has been harvested. Yield reports have really improved, despite the high sheath blight pressure.

Of course, many reports that are texted to me generally trend on the higher side. I guess that many people do not like to report the low yielding fields. I hope that these improved yields continue to hold out as we move forward.

Please be sure to text me your yields as you get them so I can put together the next yield report. The more numbers we have, the better the data set and the better understanding of the overall yield trends this year for the state. Thank you to all those who have reported to me this go around. The yields so far are presented in the accompanying table.

Source: Dustin Harrell, AgFax

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