Snow in Arkansas but rice resilient to cold

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Never before was snow recorded in May in Arkansas until Fri., May 3, 2013, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures dropped steeply with the snow and a freeze watch issued for some counties in the northwest part of the state through Saturday morning.

Although the snow didn’t land on rice territory, the state has had wet weather and unprecedented cold making rice growers unhappy.  Bob Scott, professor and Extension weed scientist says rice farmers should just sit the weather out.

“Rice is the most resilient crop that I work with and can handle the cold, just let it grow before we start throwing a bunch of chemicals at it,” Scott said this week.

“One particular ‘no-no’ is Newpath on hybrid Clearfield when conditions are like this. I would, in fact, avoid the use of ALS chemistry in general on rice until it warms up a bit. Usually, when temperatures are in the upper 70′s for at least four to five days in a row and warming up, I don’t see as much injury.

“This being said, once it does warm up, it will be time to get started with post applications in those fields where rice is up and get pre’s out even in fields where rice was planted prior to the rain and cold but have not come up yet,” he wrote in a column this week.

He ended with the comment, “It is another ‘not normal’ year. Somebody let me know when we do have a ‘normal’ year. After 11 seasons, I am not sure I have experienced one yet, maybe one of those back in the mid-2000s, I forget.”

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