The two photographs above are of our rice verification field in Vermilion parish. They are presented here to illustrate two points. The first one shows a lot of clear water as a consequence of ducks and was used in the April 27th edition of Field Notes. At that time we noted that seed treated with Avipel had been flown in and we had amazing seedling establishment along with excellent repellant action from Avipel. I am not very confident that the additional rice will provide more than cosmetic advantage. It will depend on how close the re-planted rice and the original plants are at harvest.
The second photograph shows how much the field has filled in and reveals another problem. The yellow areas of the field are the high spots (no more than 2 inches difference in elevation). These are areas where the soil was exposed when water levels fell. The little bit of oxygen that entered the soil at that time set the field up for nitrogen loss when the flood was increased. I thought the field would be at green ring this week, but the unusually cool temperatures this week slowed it down. We are not waiting for green ring. The field should be topdressed by the time you read this.
We have long said that 2 inches of difference in elevation could make or break rice production. This is just one example of what can happen under certain circumstances. If ducks had not been a problem the flood depth would have been easier to maintain. Things just fell into place to cause the problem. We will not try to apply additional nitrogen to the affected areas because every time I have seen that attempted it ended up worse than before.