Rice Consultants of the Year Offer Solid Weed Control Advice for Rice

Something went wrong. Please try again later...
Fontenot in rice field

Eunice, Louisiana's BD Fontenot is the 2021 Rice Consultant of the Year. 

There is no crystal ball to help forecast what production issues rice farmers may face each season. Solid advice given from rice consultants helps place the odds of success in the farmers’ favor.

Three former Rice Consultant of the Year award winners agree on one thing: You must start with a plan. Developing that plan should begin with looking back at what worked and, more important, what did not work the previous year. Analyze results. Which seed, herbicide and fertilizer worked well? Look at your agronomics.

You cannot control what Mother Nature delivers or does not deliver. You can, however, create a thorough checklist based on the previous year’s reports that consultants create and use them as a road map to help stay on a path of continuous improvement.

“There will be things that get in your way during the season, so start clean and stay clean,” says B.D. Fontenot, 2021 Rice Consultant of the Year, from Eunice, Louisiana. “Following that, you have to spray small, actively growing weeds, stacking residual herbicides. Then use the ultimate weed control we have in rice — water.”

Fontenot says there are several variables to consider each season, with every year being a little different from the one before. What will be key for growers, their consultants and service provider partners is to be ready to deviate from their plan, adjusting to changes and settling on a course of action.

“Once you start clean, you have to move to residual after residual,” says Keith Shelton, the 2022 Rice Consultant of the Year, from Lonoke, Arkansas. “It’s getting tough controlling weeds in rice, and the weather doesn’t always give you a big window where you can spray, so you have to stay vigilant with layers of residuals.”

Using layers of residuals will help keep rice free of weeds.

Like many growers, rice farmers are facing resistance issues. To help control some of the tough weeds in 2023, Shelton used Loyant® herbicide, which he found to be an effective tank-mix partner.

"We had success with Loyant herbicide as a tank-mix partner last year. It worked really well controlling grasses," Shelton says. “With Rinskor active, Loyant herbicide gave us control of broadleaf, grass, sedge and aquatic weeds.”

Start off clean and stay clean for better yielding rice.

Richard Costello of Oak Grove, Arkansas, consults on both flooded and row rice. As the 2018 Rice Consultant of the Year, he also advises his farmer clients to start off clean and stay clean. He knows that for good weed control, get weeds while they’re small.

"If you let grass get to the two-leaf stage, you almost can't control it," Costello says. "Barnyardgrass and sprangletop are both getting tougher to control, especially if they get too tall."

These veteran consultants believe in making sure a plan is in place before the season begins. Start with a clean seedbed, and then have residual herbicides ready to go that will keep weeds at bay before going to flood. There will be other variables that come into play, but an effective weed management program is an important precursive tool to successful rice production.

The Rice Consultant of the Year award is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience and Rice Farming magazine. Submit your nomination for the 2024 Rice Consultant of the Year here. To learn more about the importance of early spray and the Corteva Agriscience rice herbicide portfolio, visit Corteva.us/Rice.

Loyant® is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Rinskor® is a registered active ingredient. Always read and follow label directions.