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Rice Production in Mississippi

For the last 10 years (2003-2012), acres planted to rice in Mississippi has averaged 220,000 per year. Over the same period of time, rice yields have averaged 6900 lb/A (153 bushels/A).  Rice acreage has fluctuated with market price as well as other commodity market prices such as soybean and corn.  In 2010, Mississippi planted the fourth highest acreage in its 60 year history which was 305,000 acres.  Just two years later, only 126,000 acres were planted. 

Rice variety selection has improved. In years past, Mississippi growers would typically plant a majority of their acres in one variety, but in recent years, multiple varieties and hybrids are more equally distributed across the landscape. In 2012, CLXL745, a Clearfield hybrid was planted on 32% of the acres.  CLXL729, another hybrid was planted on 11% of the acreage.  CL151 and CL111, both being Clearfield pureline varieties, were each planted on 11% of the acres.  The conventional varieties Cocodrie and Rex were planted to 11% and 6% of the acres respectively.  Conventional hybrids XL723 and XL753 were planted on 8 and 6% of the acres.  Other varieties and hybrids made up the rest of the acreage.

Ideal planting dates are from March 20 to April 20.  Rice tends to decrease in yield at an average of 0.4% per day when planted after April 20; however, profitable yields can still be achieved when planting rice well into May.  Most of the rice is grown in a dry seeded culture, where the permanent flood is not established until the five-leaf stage.

In our current production system, the two biggest inputs are herbicides for weed control and nitrogen fertilizer. Weeds can be very costly if left uncontrolled. They compete for sunlight, water, and soil nutrients. Eliminating early season weeds, such as barnyardgrass, are necessary for maximizing yields.

Common weeds found in Mississippi production fields are barnyardgrass, red rice, Amazon sprangletop, hemp sesbania (coffeebean), and various morningglory species. With the recent development of Clearfield, producers now have a viable option to control red rice.

Rice is responsive to nitrogen fertilizer. Our current recommendations for nitrogen are 150 lbs of total N/Acre on silt loam to sandy soils and 180 lbs of total N/Acre on clay soils. Also, yield responses have been observed from a phosphorus application at a few locations within the state. While this is not a wide spread problem, it indicates that maintenance levels of phosphorus will have to be added in the near future. Nutrients are most efficiently used when applied prior to permanent flood.

The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, The Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the Mississippi Rice Promotion Board partner with other key industries to conduct research, disseminate information, and address pressing concerns that face the rice industry.  The rice industry is an integral part of the Mississippi economy having a farm gate value of over $100 million in 2012. 

Publications

Rice Variety Trials
P1532- Weed Control Guidelines for Mississippi
P2338-Multiple Inlet Irrigation
P2255-Mississippi Rice Growers Guide
IS1342-Economic Analysis of Selected Rice VarietiesReturn to top of page

Other Rice Information

An Introduction to Side-Inlet Irrigation in Rice Production (YoutTube Video)
Permit receives label for use in rice
DD50 Rice Program
Priscilla rice
Mississippi Rice Promotion Board
Policy for Head Row Rice Seed Production in Mississippi
Supplemental Policy for Foundation Rice Seed Production in Mississippi
Plant description of Rex rice cultivar
Plant Description for Bowman Rice Cultivar