UACES Facebook Pest scouting among key factors in record rice verification yield in Chicot County
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Pest scouting among keys in record rice verification yield in Chicot Co.

Fast Facts

    • Chicot County rice verification field shows record returns
    • Thorough scouting, timely rains helped lessen pesticide use
    • Read full rice verification program report

(424 words)

LAKE VILLAGE, Ark. – A 60-acre rice verification program field, grown fungicide- and insecticide-free due to thorough scouting, has produced record yields and record economic returns, researchers with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture reported.

The 60-acre precision-leveled field farmed by Johnny and Linda Smith produced a Rice Research Verification Program, or RRVP, record of 252 bushels per acre in the 2014 growing season. That figure is well above the state average  record yield of 168 bushels, set in 2013.

The Rice Research Verification Program is an on-farm demonstration of all the research-based recommendations developed by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture for the purpose of increasing the profitability of rice production in Arkansas – the nation’s top rice grower.

Working with the Smiths during the 2014 grower season were Ralph Mazzanti, extension rice verification coordinator, and Gus Wilson, Chicot County Extension staff chair, both with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“The production cost of this field was about $600 an acre, which led to a return to the grower of $800 per acre,” Mazzanti said. “While a high yield number typically results in a positive outcome, the return per acre is the true measure of success.”

A big part of this success was linked to pest scouting, Wilson said.

“The total herbicide cost for this field was only $54 an acre -- $22 per acre less than the 2014 program average of $76,” Wilson said.

“A good reason for this lower number was that herbicides with multiple modes of action were used for weed control and each herbicide was activated by a timely rainfall,” he said, adding that “there were no fungicide or insecticide applications, since none of the insect pests reached threshold levels that would have an economic impact.

“With an in-field scouting program such as this, the grower might have been tempted to use pesticides when none were needed,” Wilson said.

The field with the record numbers was planted in soybeans in 2013. For the verification program in 2014, the grower planted RiceTec XL753 on April 21and harvested Aug. 28.

The Arkansas Rice Research Verification Program has been operating in the fields of the state for 32 years. 

“The major objective of the program is to demonstrate and verify research-based recommendations for profitable rice production throughout the rice producing area of the state,” said Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “This record yield in Chicot County is proof of just how this program impacts the rice industry of Arkansas.”

The full report of the rice verification program may be found at

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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By Robert Goodson
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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