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The last few weeks have been busy with conferences and preparation for the season. While I was at the Rice Technical Working Group conference back  in late February, I heard that some rice was already being drill-planted. By now that rice has started to emerge. Now is a good time to be reminded about early-season pest problems to scout for in these drill-seeded fields. A number of insects can attack drill-seeded rice in Louisiana. These can include both above ground and below ground pests. Remember that the use of seed treatments will selectively control pests, but no single seed treatment has the ability to control all the insects that can attack seedling rice. This link will take you to an article that contrasts which insects are controlled by each seed treatment in drill-seeded rice.

Some common problems we experienced last year were (click on the name of the insect to learn more about biology and management) aphids, colaspis, chinch bugs, thrips, billbugs, sugarcane beetles, and armyworms. We also had trouble with some small black beetles that were also in the chrysomelidae family (related to colaspis). If you find this same problem with the small black beetles defoliating rice, please collect some samples and contact your county agent immediately so that we can verify the species and crop injury.

If you need help identifying a crop pests that you are not familiar with in rice, or need advice on management strategies, please don’t hesitate to call your local County Agent or contact me: nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu.

This season I am also using twitter to send out insect alerts. If you use twitter, you can follow me @NatHummel for the latest observations from the field.

I hope your season is off to a good start. My next post will talk about early-season pest problems in water-seeded rice. I talked to some Agents and dealers this week and it sounds like most of the crop that is planted following these rains will be water-seeded. Remember that Dermacor X-100 now has a 24C registration for use in water-seeded rice. This season we plan to sample some of the water-seeded fields to verify the efficacy in commercial field use. I’ll let you know what we observe.

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Our society has become increasingly mobile and access to the internet is improving rapidly, even in rural regions of Louisiana. Agricultural industries are reliant, more than ever before, on the internet to access critical, timely information to guide crop management decision. The LSU AgCenter has led the land grant university system in developing a comprehensive website that we use to distribute research-baesd information to rice producers. The design of our website continues to improve over time in response to feedback from our clientele.

After many long days spent in front of a computer screen we have completed a drastic revision of the layout and content of the LSU AgCenter Rice Insect Website. The new website has a simple layout with an easy to use menu at the homepage that will point you to all the resources you need to make pest management decisions in your crop. Click here for the new LSU AgCenter rice insect home page.

At the new home page you will find links to the following resources:

We are still developing some of the content. Soon you will also be able to access the following topics:
  • Demonstration tests (all the data and information on our demos over the past few years)
  • Meetings (Oral and poster presentations)
  • Rice Pest Management Guide and Insecticide links
  • Rice Extension publications

The inspiration for our redesign came from the LSU AgCenter Rice Disease website redesign. Now that the page is launched, we need your help. Please email (nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu) or comment here with any additional improvements we can make to our content. We will continue to revise the website based on your feedback.

Special thanks to Anna Meszaros, Lisa West and Nicholas Colligan for redesigning our website. I think you’ll be pleased with the new layout. If you are attending RTWG this week, look for a poster display by Anna that will introduce you to our new website.

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This article was originally published in Louisiana Farm and Ranch, February 2012. I’m reposting it here for your information. This is an important article to read as growers are making their decision about insecticide seed treatments in rice for the 2012 season.

Authors: Natalie Hummel, Associate Professor and Assistant to the Director & Mike Stout, Professor

We have had quite a few inquiries about using a combination of seed treatments, neonicotinoid and Dermacor X-100, in rice. While this practice is legal, using more than one seed treatment is not a practice that we encourage in most circumstances because it results in more insecticide use in rice production than may be necessary.

The rice industry is considering one of these combinations of seed treatments: 1) Dermacor X-100 and CruiserMaxx or 2) Dermacor X-100 and NipsitINSIDE. Typically, a combination of seed treatments is only being considered when planting rice at low seeding rates, primarily because of concerns about the lack of efficacy of CruiserMaxx and NipsitINSIDE at hybrid seeding rates (25 lbs/acre or less) that we have observed in our rice water weevil demonstration trials and small plot trials. The second scenario is where Dermacor X-100 is being used for rice water weevil management and there is a history of stand reduction because of a sporadic pest infestation, usually chinch bugs or armyworms. Combining seed treatments provides a benefit of protecting the crop from injury by some primary and sporadic crop pests.

As the rice industry moves toward a more sustainable crop production profile, the LSU AgCenter strongly encourages rice producers to be good stewards of these insecticide seed treatments. Stewardship of these seed treatments means avoiding the use of insecticides not needed in the crop. For this reason, we discourage the widespread use of a combination of insecticide seed treatments in rice. We instead encourage the person making the seed treatment decision to consider the spectrum of pests that each insecticide can control, the seeding rate, and the history of crop pests in that field.

It is important to remember that each of the seed treatments controls a different group of insects. Dermacor X-100 belongs to a class of insecticides called anthranilic diamides, which target a specific receptor in the muscle of the insect. Dermacor X-100 is registered to control rice water weevil larvae, borers (Mexican rice borer, Rice stalk borer, Sugarcane borer), armyworms and colaspis (2ee registration for suppression). CruiserMaxx and NipsitINSIDE are both neonicotinoid insecticides that affect the nervous system of target insects. CruiserMaxx is labeled to control rice water weevils (larvae and adults), chinch bugs, colaspis and thrips. NipsitINSIDE is labeled to control rice water weevils and colaspis. We do not have data to support the ability of CruiserMaxx or NipsitINSIDE to control chinch bugs, colaspis or thrips in Louisiana, but we anticipate that they will control these pests based on observations from other crops and from rice in other parts of the world. As you study these seed treatments, you can see how a combination of these products can control most of the insects that attack rice in Louisiana. This is part of the reason why there is an inclination toward using a combination of treatments.

Here are criteria for you to consider as you make your seed treatment decision. The first is the seeding rate. This needs to be considered because neonicotinoids don’t always provide good control of rice water weevils at low seeding rates. Dermacor X-100 does provide control of rice water weevils at all seeding rates, but it will not control chinch bugs or thrips. According to the chemical manufacturers, neonicotinoids do control other early season pests including chinch bugs, thrips and colaspis. Another challenge at low seeding rates is that the plant stand is thin and is less tolerant to any insects that reduce the stand by killing seedlings. Insects that can reduce the plant stand count include armyworms, chinch bugs, colaspis and thrips. Borers can infest fields after the plant is at the green ring growth stage and reduce yields by causing deadhearts and whiteheads. Remember that if you put out a combination of seed treatments for a sporadic pest and that pest doesn’t infest your field, then you didn’t need to use a combination of seed treatments. We have data that indicate that rice water weevils infest more than 90% of rice fields in Louisiana. This justifies the use of a seed treatment to control rice water weevils as part of a good IPM program. That is not the case for many of our sporadic pests (armyworms, chinch bugs, colaspis, borers, etc.), which rarely occur at levels that justify treatment. Also, keep in mind that we rarely recommend an insecticide treatment for thrips in rice; usually the damage is not severe enough to require an insecticide.

Here are a couple of situations where a combination of seed treatments may be a good management decision. If you are planting rice at a low seeding rate and you anticipate that you will have an infestation of chinch bugs that would justify a pyrethroid treatment, then a combination of seed treatments would be a good option. In this situation, you would be using Dermacor X-100 to control rice water weevils, borers and armyworms and adding a neonicotinoid to control chinch bugs or thrips. Also, if you are planting rice at conventional seeding rates and you are using a neonicotinoid seed treatment to control rice water weevils and colaspis, but you typically have problems with armyworms or borers, then you may want to apply Dermacor X-100 to your seed.

There is one more thing to consider as you make your seed treatment decisions for the 2012 season. The EPA recently approved a Section 24C (special local need) registration for use of Dermacor X-100 in water-seeded rice. If you are interested in this option, a certified seed treater can provide more information. Remember that you CANNOT use the other seed treatments (CruiserMaxx or NipsitINSIDE) in water-seeded rice. The use of CruiserMaxx and NipsitINSIDE in water-seeded rice is illegal and will not provide control of the target pests.

If you have any questions about the seed treatment options registered for use in rice, please contact your local County Agent, or Natalie Hummel (nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu) for more information.

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I just received word from Bobby Simoneaux, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, that the EPA approved a Section 24C (special local need) for use of Dermacor X-100 in water-seeded rice in all 64 Louisiana parishes. This registration will expire on 2/6/2017. The purpose of this registration is to combat the recent detection of Mexican rice borer reproducing populations in western rice producing parishes of Louisiana. This registration is in addition to the existing Section 3 registration of Dermacor X-100 in dry-seeded rice.

Dermacor X-100 can be applied by a certified seed treater. Your local certified seed treater can provide more information on this specific use pattern.  To learn more about the seed treatments read this article. I’m in the process of writing a new article on seed treatment options for 2012. Please contact me if you have any questions about the current insecticide seed treatment options in rice.

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If you produced a rice crop last season, or advised on pest management of a US rice crop, please complete our online survey.

The purpose of this survey is to evaluate current management programs for rice insects. Your responses are used to guide future programs and support registration of insecticides. Please answer all questions as honestly as possible. Individual answers will be kept confidential. You can remain anonymous if you prefer. If you already completed a paper version of this survey this year at your winter production meeting, you don’t need to complete it again. If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Hummel at 225-223-3373 or nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu. We would appreciate your response by February 8.

Click on this link to complete the survey:


Summary reports from the 2009 survey can be found here.


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I received this press release from Barrett Courville today. I would like to express a personal thank you to Louisiana rice farmers for supporting the LSU AgCenter rice entomology research and extension programs through annual grants funded by the Louisiana rice research board. This support is critical to research advances and extending information to growers through demonstration programs, meetings and information delivery over the computer. Without your support we truly could not conduct programs to support the Louisiana rice industry.

Beginning of press release:

Louisiana rice farmers overwhelmingly agreed to continue paying a nickel for every 100 pounds of rice for research and 3 cents per hundred pounds for promotion for the next five years.

The vote was held Jan. 17, and the final tally was made official Monday (Jan. 23) when the results were announced.

The totals showed 357 producers voting for the research check-off and 65 voting against, or 85 percent in favor of the measure and 15 percent against.

The promotion referendum was approved 321 to 107, or 75 percent for and 25 percent opposed.

Jackie Loewer, a rice farmer from Branch, La., and chairman of the Louisiana Rice Research Board, said the vote shows that an overwhelming majority of farmers approve of check-off funding.

Volunteer farmers serve on the promotion and research boards, and they decide how the money is to be spent.

“As farmers, everyone on both boards knows how difficult farming has become, and we will continue to carefully weigh how each dollar is spent,” Loewer said.

The bulk of the funds for research is earmarked for work at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station.

“I can assure farmers that they are getting their money’s worth,” said Steve Linscombe, Rice Research Station director. “A continuation of these check-off funds means that research can continue to develop new varieties and to improve rice farming practices.”

The funds for promoting rice are crucial, said Kevin Berken, of Lake Arthur, La., who is chairman of the promotion board.

“If we can’t sell a crop, then it doesn’t matter how successful farmers are at growing rice,” Berken said. “Approval of these funds means we can carry on with the very successful domestic and international promotion activities that these funds support.”

“Bottom line is, without research we couldn’t grow it, and without promotion, we can’t sell it,” Loewer said.


Writer: Bruce Schultz at 337-788-8821 or bschultz@agcenter.lsu.edu

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Dr. Mo Way (Texas A&M/AgriLife Entomologist) and I have been asked to give a 30 minute presentation/discussion on rice insect pest management at the Rice Technical Working Group (RTWG) meeting in Hot Springs, AR on Monday Feb 27 from 1-5pm (other topics will be covered by other researchers). Please respond to this poll to let us know which topic(s) are of most interest to you. Thanks!

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We are two days into the winter meeting season, and so far the crowds have been good. Don’t forget to attend one of our meetings to get the latest research updates from LSU AgCenter scientists. In the meantime, I thought you might like to look over the 2011 annual report for this blog. Thanks to all of you for reading this blog and sharing the knowledge with others! Credit is especially due to the great folks at AgFax who were the #1 referrers of our site. Here’s to an even better year in 2012!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Happy New Year! I hope your 2012 is off to a good start! Tomorrow we will kick off the winter meeting season with the first rice and soybean meeting in Welsh, Louisiana. In the meantime, I would like to make you aware of a recent position announcement at the LSU AgCenter. If you are looking for a position of this type, I encourage you to apply. Send me an email if you have any questions. Please note that the position closes on January 6, 2012 or until a suitable candidate is identified. You can access the job posting at this link:

WORK LOCATION: W.A. Callegari Environmental Center, LSU AgCenter, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
POSITION DESCRIPTION: This position will be responsible for coordinating statewide Pesticide Safety Education within the LSU AgCenter’s Cooperative Extension Service. This will include developing, organizing and coordinating training (though parish and regional extension agents) that will lead to agricultural producers receiving training to achieve or maintain certification as Private Pesticide Applicators. Certification from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is required in order to use or supervise the use of Restricted Use Pesticides on private land or land rented to produce an agricultural commodity. Pesticide applicators who apply any pesticide for a fee must also be certified by LDAF as Commercial Pesticide Applicators or work under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. Educational training that leads to certification is conducted by the LSU AgCenter’s Extension Service through leadership provided by the person in this position.
This position conducts the Commercial Pesticide Applicator Training Program (CAPSE) and gives oversight, guidance and assistance to the Private Pesticide Applicator Training Program (PPSE), working cooperatively with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry (LDAF). Approximately 13 other LSU AgCenter Extension Service specialists participate in the CAPSE Program as their specialty dictates. The PPSE Program is conducted on the parish level; therefore, the County Agents are vital in coordination and in conducting this program.
This position also chairs the AgCenter’s Special Local Needs Committee which makes recommendations to the LDAF concerning the granting of state labels for pesticide use. This position also keeps the AgCenter employees updated as to pesticide rules and regulations and is available to respond to AgCenter employees’ questions about various pesticides and their uses. The person in this position is also responsible for responding to public concerns about pesticides and their use as well as responding to the agricultural community. There is also a public education/outreach dimension, that is, to conduct an educational program for the general public, Master Gardeners via publications, fact sheets and speaking to service/civic clubs, as needed. Additionally, coordination and support for agent training, Master Farmer certification training and environmental stewardship as it pertains to pesticide application, best management practices (BMPs) and environmental stewardship will be expected.
This position must be able to work cooperatively with the Pesticide Safety Educators in other states, especially those in EPA Region VI. Also this position must work cooperatively with the Environmental Protection Agency both Region VI and Headquarters as well as with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: Bachelor’s degree in an agricultural related field and at least five (5) years experience in state and federal pesticide certification policy, management and/or training. Master’s degree preferred.
SALARY AND BENEFITS: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The LSU AgCenter has an attractive benefits package with a wide variety of benefit options. Benefits offered include retirement, multiple medical insurance options, supplemental insurances (dental, life, long-term disability, accident, vision, long-term care, etc.), Tax Saver Flexible Benefits Plan (saves tax dollars on some child care and medical expenses), university holidays (14 per year, typically includes a week off at Christmas), generous annual (vacation) and sick leave benefits, Employee Assistance Program, and possible educational leave and tuition exemption for coursework at campuses of the LSU System. Specific benefits depend on job category, percent effort and length of employment.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: January 6, 2012 or until a suitable candidate is identified
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Must apply online at https://lsusystemcareers.lsu.edu/ by attaching cover letter, resume, transcripts and two letters of recommendation. (Paper, faxed or e-mailed application materials will not be accepted.) For more information, please see contact below. In lieu of attaching the letters online, they may be sent directly to:
Dr. Bill Carney, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Head
W.A. Callegari Environmental Center
Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
P.O. Box 25100
Baton Rouge, LA 70894-5100
Phone: 225-578-6998
Lab: 225-765-5155
Fax: 225-578-7765
Email: bcarney@agcenter.lsu.edu
Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com/callegari/
The LSU Agricultural Center is a statewide campus of the LSU System and provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

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A portion of the rice water weevil field crew. From left to right: Anna Meszaros, Nick Colligan, Jordan Fryoux, Natalie Hummel, Jimmy Meaux and David Albano.

Rice water weevil (RWW) management demonstrations have been conducted for the past four field seasons. The purpose of these demonstrations is to evaluate currently recommended insecticides on commercial rice farms in Louisiana to control RWW. These trials are a joint effort between county agents, farmers, consultants, seed dealers and chemical distributors. In 2011, we compared three insecticide seed treatments (CruiserMaxx, Dermacor X-100 and NipsIt INSIDE) to an untreated check. Each treatment was planted in two strips at each location. A total of 6 locations were included in the 2011 demonstration test. The commercial farms were located in Acadia, Calcasieu, Evangeline, Jeff Davis, Rapides and St. Landry parishes. We took stand count data 2 weeks after seedling emergence at five locations and RWW core samples (10 cores / plot) 4 weeks after permanent flood to assess the relative efficacy of treatments at all 6 locations.

The on-farm demonstrations were conducted in the parishes indicated in purple.

At five of the six locations we planted the variety XL745. Thus, the seeding rates were low and the results of our study may not translate to field planted at a higher seeding rate (more than 25 pound seeding rates).

We found no significant difference between stand counts. Plant heights were significantly greater in CruiserMaxx and Nipsit INSIDE treatments than in Dermacor X-100. When we analyzed the RWW core sample data we found that all seed treatments had significantly fewer RWW larvae per core than the untreated check (average 12.9 RWW larvae/core). Dermacor X-100 (average of 2.5 rww larvae/core) provided the highest level of control, whereas Nipsit INSIDE (average 7.9 larvae/core) and CruiserMaxx (average 7.9 larvae/core) provided intermediate levels of control.

We conclude from these observations that if you are planting rice at low seeding rates (less than #25) and decide to use a neonicotinoid seed treatment (CruiserMaxx or Nipsit INSIDE) you should scout the field at the time of flood for the presence of rice water weevil adults. If you find a high population of rice water weevil adults, you may want to consider applying a pyrethroid to provide additional protection from rice water weevils. However, if you use Dermacor X-100, be aware that it does not provide protection against other early season pests such as thrips, aphids, and Colaspis.

This project was coordinated by Natalie Hummel, Anna Meszaros and Mike Stout. Thank you to all of our cooperators: LSU AgCenter County Agents: Barrett Courville, Trent Clark, Vince Deshotel, Rob Ferguson, Keith Fontenot, Matt Martin, Jimmy Meaux, Dusty Zaunbrecher; Rice farmers: Chris & Randy Dauzat, Charlie Fontenot, Johnny Hensgens, Kenneth LaHaye, Glen & Wes Simon, Mark Stelly, Bill Wild; Crop Consultants and Company Representatives: Rusty Elston, Dennis Fontenot, Kent Guillory, Rustin Gilder, Cullen Minter, Dean Reed, Randy Verret; our Field Crew: Nick Colligan, David Albano, Jordan Fryoux, Marty Frey and the rice station entomology crew. Finally, we could not have completed this project without the financial support of the Louisiana Rice Research Board, DuPont, Syngenta and Valent.

I’ll discuss these results in the rice winter meetings. How did the seed treatments look at your farm?

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