Pick up know-how for tackling diseases, pests and weeds.
Farm bill, farm marketing, agribusiness webinars, & farm policy.
Find tactics for healthy livestock and sound forages.
Scheduling and methods of irrigation.
Explore our Extension locations around the state.
Commercial row crop production in Arkansas.
Agriculture weed management resources.
Use virtual and real tools to improve critical calculations for farms and ranches.
Learn to ID forages and more.
Explore our research locations around the state.
Get the latest research results from our county agents.
Our programs include aquaculture, diagnostics, and energy conservation.
Keep our food, fiber and fuel supplies safe from disaster.
Private, Commercial & Non-commercial training and education.
Specialty crops including turfgrass, vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals.
Find educational resources and get youth engaged in agriculture.
Gaining garden smarts and sharing skills.
Timely tips for the Arkansas home gardener.
Creating beauty in and around the home.
Maintenance calendar, and best practices.
Coaxing the best produce from asparagus to zucchini.
What’s wrong with my plants? The clinic can help.
Featured trees, vines, shrubs and flowers.
Ask our experts plant, animal, or insect questions.
Enjoying the sweet fruits of your labor.
Herbs, native plants, & reference desk QA.
Growing together from youth to maturity.
Crapemyrtles, hydrangeas, hort glossary, and weed ID databases.
Get beekeeping, honey production, and class information.
Grow a pollinator-friendly garden.
Schedule these timely events on your gardening calendar.
Equipping individuals to lead organizations, communities, and regions.
Guiding communities and regions toward vibrant and sustainable futures.
Guiding entrepreneurs from concept to profit.
Position your business to compete for government contracts.
Find trends, opportunities and impacts.
Providing unbiased information to enable educated votes on critical issues.
Increase your knowledge of public issues & get involved.
Research-based connection to government and policy issues.
Support Arkansas local food initiatives.
Read about our efforts.
Preparing for and recovering from disasters.
Licensing for forestry and wildlife professionals.
Preserving water quality and quantity.
Cleaner air for healthier living.
Firewood & bioenergy resources.
Managing a complex forest ecosystem.
Read about nature across Arkansas and the U.S.
Learn to manage wildlife on your land.
Soil quality and its use here in Arkansas.
Learn to ID unwanted plant and animal visitors.
Timely updates from our specialists.
Eating right and staying healthy.
Ensuring safe meals.
Take charge of your well-being.
Cooking with Arkansas foods.
Making the most of your money.
Making sound choices for families and ourselves.
Nurturing our future.
Get tips for food, fitness, finance, and more!
Understanding aging and its effects.
Giving back to the community.
Managing safely when disaster strikes.
Listen to our latest episode!
By Ryan McGeeney U of A System Division of AgricultureApril 3, 2017
LITTLE ROCK — Rice planting in Arkansas has begun in earnest, as growers in the nation’s
top rice-producing state seed their fields beneath dark skies and intermittent rains.
Jarrod Hardke, rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture,
said that despite weather forecasts that have contained much rain over the past two
weeks, the prep work completed by many growers over the winter months allowed producers
to move into the fields in mid-March.
“We made a surprising amount of progress the last two weeks,” Hardke said. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture’s March 26 report on crop progress in the state estimated
that about 2 percent of the projected rice acreage had been planted, just shy of the
five-year average of 3 percent planted at this point in the season.
“While a lot of the delta did get 1-2 inches of rain the weekend of March 25, it wasn’t
everywhere,” Hardke said. “I was surprised by how much it dried up. We did have progress
starting up again Monday afternoon, moving into Tuesday.”
In 2016, heavy rains in March kept the planting rate to zero for several weeks into
the traditional planting window.
Early planting, cautious optimism
Hardke said there is some concern that producers inclined to invest heavily in the
earliest phase of the recommended planting window may suffer negative consequences
if 2017 does indeed turn out to be similar to 2016, although he was cautiously optimistic.
“We’re just now knocking on the door of what we consider to be the truly optimum time
for planting in the northern part of the state,” he said. “But at this point, we’re
still staying pretty warm, continuing to get some rice in the ground and make some
progress. We’re right in line with where we need to be.”
In the second Arkansas Rice Update, a weekly newsletter published by Hardke and Division
of Agriculture Weed Scientist Bob Scott, the authors reiterated several important
staples of sound farming, including the importance of planting conventional rice varieties
ahead of hybrids, in order to leverage the best yield potential from the available
seeds as the planting window proceeds through the summer, and the importance of reevaluating
seeding rates each year.
“Every year’s a little different, and it does affect the amount of seed in a pound,”
Hardke said. “The weather did seem to change the grain size last year, enough to where
we needed to adjust our seeding rates.”
While federal law requires that any seed sold must guarantee a germination rate of
at least 80 percent, growers may have come to expect considerably higher actual germination
rates, Hardke said. Growers should check the actual estimated germination rate on
new bags of seed, in order to calculate the optimum seeding rate for the current season.
Although 2017 hasn’t yet presented any unusual natural obstacles for growers, Hardke
noted that the gap between inputs and market sales have become exceedingly thin.
“The margins seem to be even tighter than they have been the last couple of years,
and that’s really saying something,” he said. “Just like 2016, timeliness and efficiency
are really going to be crucial to making a profit in 2017.”
Hardke said that input costs for rice, not including rent, are ranging between $600-$750
an acre across the state, while market prices hover at about $4.50 per bushel. In
2016, the average Arkansas rice yield was 153.7 bu/ac, producing about $690 per acre.
“When you start doing the yield calculations on that — what you need to hit in order
to cover those costs — it gets very concerning,” he said.
For more information about rice production, contact your county extension office or
visit www.uaex.uada.edu or http://arkansascrops.com.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to 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.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com