Much of the rice crop is several days behind normal because of the cool spring and numerous rain events that delayed planting. For rice growers the difficulty in getting their crop planted this year was just the beginning of the challenges created by the unusual weather.
One of those challenges is determining the best time for mid-season herbicide and fertilizer applications, which depend largely on the weather in the weeks after planting. This is a crucial decision because applications that are too early can be inefficient, while applications that are too late can damage yields. The wide range of planting dates and unusually cold late spring weather have made it particularly difficult to locate the target date in 2010.