Weed management a challenge in Bootheel rice fields

An extension specialist with the University of Missouri says weed management could be a problem for a few rice fields this year.

Justin Chlapecka tells Brownfield pre-emergence herbicides weren’t activated due to a lack of rain and farmers are trying to control grassy weeds with a post-emergence herbicide. When it gets above 90 degrees, he says post-emergence herbicides won’t perform well.

“Once the grass gets any size to it at all, it’s hard to get 100% control with conventional herbicides that we’ve got for conventional rice varieties.”

Chlapecka tells Brownfield there have also been delays flooding fields, another form of weed management, because of slower fertilizer applications and water is mostly soaking into the soil as farmers irrigate multiple fields from one well.

“Our wells are taking a week or longer at times to get flooded, when the usual time is about 2 to 3 days.”

He says overall, the rice crop looks above average, but that could change as grass continues to grow.

Photo credit: Justin Chlapecka

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