Greetings from Louisiana rice country! This year, the blog will concentrate research conducted at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, in addition to showing the progress of a 6-acre field of rice planted March 19 to produce foundation seed. We encourage your comments and thoughts to help improve this online tool. If you would like a photograph of a particular piece of equipment or a better explanation of a process, let us know.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Weather turning warmer, plant growth improving

The Zaunbrecher rice field near Lake Arthur is progressing slowly, like many rice fields in South Louisiana. But Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, is pleased with how the crop appears. With warmer temperatures the crop should begin to grow quickly.

Saichuk determined that some of the plants have a half-inch of internode elongation, shown on in the plant on the right of the picture of two dissected plants. Green ring in both plants is circled in black, and the black line shows the elongation.

Saichuk said the half-inch node is significant. “That’s when you no longer want to make 2,4-D applications.”
Saichuk said the plants will start using more and more water, and he advised Ronnie “Blue” Zaunbrecher to pump up the level.
“This is when rice can use as much as an inch of water a day,” he said.
Saichuk estimates that the rice plants will reach boot stage on June 10, and harvest will be the last week in July.
He said weekly visits to the Zaunbrecher field will focus on scouting for diseases and stinkbugs.
The Rice Research Station field of Catahoula variety is progressing nicely. Thin spots are slowly beginning to disappear as this is the growth stage where maximum tillering (stooling) occurs. The plants are nearing the panicle initiation growth stage which is when the plants begin to shift from vegetative to reproductive growth stages.

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