Horizon Ag


Rice Acres Up in Many Areas

May 2, 2024

Grower J.P. Armstrong in Clarksdale Mississippi

Grower J.P. Armstrong in Clarksdale Mississippi in a field of CLL18 just coming out of the ground. It was planted on April 5 at 60 lbs. per acre.


Rice acres are up in the Mississippi Delta this year compared to last year. Farmers started planting at the end of March. The most popular variety this season is CLL18, with CLL16 and CLL19 tied for second.

From Cleveland, Mississippi south, farmers are either done or wrapping up planting. They have had some timely rains, as well as big rains dropping around 4–5 inches on April 10. I talked to a farmer in Cleveland who said rainfall had slowed down planting and that strong winds have posed problems for them in getting their pre-emerge and post-emerge spraying done.

Grower Michael Aguzzi’s CLL19 field near Cleveland, Mississippi

Grower Michael Aguzzi’s CLL19 field near Cleveland, Mississippi. It was planted on March 29 at 60 lbs. per acre.

While the south Mississippi Delta is finishing up, north Delta farmers are around 75% done planting. They have caught some rain showers that kept them out of the field, but it also is helping get the seed out of the ground.

We had a big rain chance last Monday, but the system broke up and it didn’t rain as much as expected. This will get the farmers back in the field to finish planting and get their pre/post spraying done before the next rain chance on Friday.

If you have any questions or concerns don’t be afraid to call, text, or email me.

Garland Melton   Garland Metlton
District Field Representative
(662) 671-2465


Northeast Arkansas and Missouri

The majority of rice acres have been planted in my territory.

The most recent USDA NASS crop report stated that Arkansas was 83% planted and Missouri was 68% planted. I think the Arkansas number is good and these last increases have come from more planting progress in the southern half of the state. However, I believe we are more than 68 percent planted in Missouri and somewhere north of 80%.

We had a good run through the first three weeks of April, missing most of the significant rain events. This is very reminiscent of the progress we had in 2023, where we also outpaced some of our regions to the south.

Although we did get planted in a timely manner, some areas could have used a good rain during that period. Unfortunately, this led to some growers making the call to flush rice during the last week of April. If anything has impacted rice seedling development thus far, it has been those areas that had to endure extremely dry conditions.

Variety CLL18 growing in Craighead County, Arkansas.

Variety CLL18 growing in Craighead County, Arkansas.

Besides one cold snap last month, we experienced minimal cold weather which has allowed good emergence and growth in fields where there has been adequate moisture. I’m really pleased with the CLL18 and CLL19 I have looked at thus far. There will be a lot of rice going to flood in May, which will only add to the performance of our varieties this season.

I reached out to my counterpart Corey Connor in South Louisiana for a brief update from our southernmost rice growing region. He reports the crop is 90-95% planted and all of the February and early March rice has gone to permanent flood. Overall, the crop looks good and is moving along nicely with the improved weather conditions.

As a reminder for those of you growing PVL03 or PVL04 this season, we are recommending a max labeled rate of a triazole fungicide at ½-inch internode elongation to 4-inch panicle formation as a preventative to help mitigate stem Cercospora.

Please call if you have any questions regarding variety management this season.

Jason Satterfield   Jason Satterfield
Senior District Field Representative
(901) 347-9715


LSU AgCenter + Horizon Ag


New Partnership between LSU AgCenter and Horizon Ag

The LSU AgCenter is partnering with Horizon Ag to initiate a new rice breeding program focused on varieties for southern rice-producing areas. This partnership will give Horizon Ag access to the AgCenter’s elite rice breeding germplasm and result in collaborative breeding efforts. LSU AgCenter rice breeder and director of the AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station Adam Famoso said the partnership offers tangible benefits to the two partners, the rice industry and rice producers. “The contract research activities will be leveraged to support our existing and future station research and breeding efforts and will enable expanded testing within the LSU breeding program,” Famoso said. “The AgCenter will provide contract research services such as field testing and evaluation of Horizon’s breeding materials.”

The initial agreement is set for five years, beginning this year. New varieties released by Horizon will be in addition to the AgCenter’s breeding activities.

Horizon Ag’s CEO Tim Walker says the partnership is a way to invest in the LSU AgCenter’s breeding program while working alongside it for the betterment of the rice industry.

“We see this as an opportunity and a need and a mutual benefit,” Walker said. “The industry will be better having more breeders working towards a common goal of improving grain yields and quality, both of which are very important to southern USA rice farmers.”

The AgCenter will receive royalties from varieties released by Horizon Ag, helping sustain the size and scale of its rice research efforts.

“We are excited for this groundbreaking public-private partnership with Horizon Ag. This collaboration is a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to enhance the sustainability and competitiveness of the Louisiana rice industry, bringing substantial benefits to our rural communities,” said Matt Lee, LSU vice president for agriculture. “It is designed to bolster economic development through employment and the local procurement of materials and supplies. Together, we are poised to lead in agricultural innovation and research, establishing new benchmarks for success and sustainability in the rice industry.”


Horizon Ag Rice Breeder

As part of its new partnership with the LSU AgCenter, Horizon Ag is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. María Guadalupe Montiel to the newly created position of Rice Breeder for the company’s independent lab located at the Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter Rice Research Station at Crowley.

The position was created as part of a recent partnership between Horizon Ag and the LSU AgCenter to support enhanced collaborative breeding efforts. In her new role, Dr. Montiel will have access to the AgCenter’s elite rice-breeding germplasm, and any new varieties released by Horizon Ag will be in addition to the AgCenter’s breeding activities.

Dr. Maria Guadalupe Montiel

Dr. Maria Guadalupe Montiel

“We are extremely happy to have María in this important role as we initiate this innovative, promising partnership between Horizon Ag and the LSU AgCenter,” says Dr. Tim Walker, CEO of Horizon Ag.

“I am excited to have this opportunity to work alongside the world-renowned rice breeding team at the LSU AgCenter to develop new varieties that will help rice farmers and the southern rice industry be more profitable and sustainable,” says Dr. Montiel. “Horizon Ag has long been a leader in the southern U.S. rice industry, and I look forward to adding my contributions to that effort.”

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