Most of the rice plants under our center pivot in South Africa are starting to head with some panicles in the milk stage. People often ask me how’s your rice doing under the pivot. Without meaning to dodge their question, my usual reply is, “well, it depends on which part of the field you are talking about.” Thankfully, there are some places in the field that will make satifactory rice yields. See photo on right for good area. There are definitely good and bad areas and my quest now is to determine why the bad areas are that way. Some of the reasons are obvious. For example, our experiment has designed to include low irrigation water treatments causing the plants to stress in those zones. It does not make the field look “pretty” but it will provide important data that we need to understand rice water use. Also, on the far north side, from the beginning, we had a very poor stand because of trash (leaves and stems) in the Nerica seed which clogged the drill at planting. At first, the planter driver stopped every few meters to clean out the stopped up drills but after several hours of doing this it was decided to keep going and hope for the best. Unfortunately, where there is not a good stand of rice, weeds and grass will always fill in the gaps. Another early season problem that we had was glyphosate resistant volunteer maize. It was the thickest stand of volunteer maize in a field that I have ever seen. But, most of that is gone now thanks to Clincher herbicide and slashing.