Innovations in the Field

Sponsored by BASF

Welcome to the 2018 BASF Innovations in the Field. This yearlong program is designed to showcase four progressive farmers and their use of technology and agronomic practices to enhance their return on investment and profit potential. Check back each week for new blogs and videos from the farmers as they share their experiences and crop management decisions throughout the growing season. Here is a brief overview of our four participants.

Working together:

How rice growers can utilize mature and recently developed technologies to manage their fields

For a grower like Wally Childress – one of just two rice growers in Tennessee – rice management decisions are especially critical. Today, growers have technology to help them achieve greater weed management, but there wasn't always a method for effectively controlling grasses and nuisances like red rice in their fields.

With the introduction of the Clearfield® Production System for rice in 2001, growers were given a way to control red rice and volunteer rice, making the system widely adopted and highly successful. Earlier this year, BASF launched the Provisia® Rice System, the newest technology in years to help growers manage weedy rice infestations, including fields lost to red rice.

"With any technology that's been on the market for a long time, resistance has the potential to develop," said Alvin Rhodes, BASF Technical Service Representative. "What's important for growers to keep in mind while using multiple technologies are best practices for managing resistance, as well as how they can be good stewards of the products they use."


As growers continue to battle weedy rice, they can follow certain Provisia Rice System management practices and stewardship guidelines to diminish the impact of weedy rice and improve their yields. For example, in some areas where Childress used the Provisia Rice System, he saw as many as 175 bushels per acre.

"The Provisia Rice System is effective in overcoming weed resistance and controlling red rice when growers enter into Provisia rice at the optimal rotational timing," said Rhodes. "So, a large part of ensuring that these systems work effectively and efficiently is following correct crop rotations."

Provisia rice can follow a rotation of soybeans or conventional rice, and soybeans must follow Clearfield rice. Rhodes recommends a three-year rotation of the Provisia Rice System, Clearfield Production System and soybeans to provide growers with the best chance for a successful, weed-free crop.

Rhodes also noted rotating herbicide sites of action as another practice for management of the weedy rice complex. With the limited amount of recently developed herbicide chemistries available to rice growers, the Provisia Rice System offers an effective mode of action for weed control. For Childress, this effective mode of action is an essential tool in controlling grasses that can take a toll on his rice yields.


Additionally, the Provisia Rice System offers a complementary herbicide-tolerant system to rotate with the Clearfield system. By following proper stewardship practices, growers can continue to work with both systems in their crop rotation to allow for more sustainable rice-planting years on more acres.

"New technologies are few and far between for rice growers, so it's important to be good stewards of the products currently available to them," said Rhodes. "When growers plan their crop rotations accordingly, new and existing technologies remain a viable resource for control of tough weed issues."

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