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Archive for May, 2010

On Wednesday, I scouted a field with a consultant in Jeff-Davis Parish.  He has recommended treatment for fall armyworm (FAW) in a number of fields in the Jeff-Davis and Allen Parish area.  I have also had reports of damage from Evangeline and Vermilion Parish.    

A rice field suffering from an infestation of fall armyworm caterpillars.

 

 If your rice was treated with Dermacor X-100, it should be safe from damage.  Otherwise, it would be wise to monitor closely for this pest.  This problem is compounded by the hot and dry weather conditions – which drive the armyworms into lush, green rice fields.  The consultant said he has now started to recommend a shot of Karate with the first application of newpath to control this pest.  This pyrethroid application is too early for weevil management (unless you have excessive adult feeding), so they’ll have to go back with one or two more applications to control rice water weevil adults later in the season when they apply permanent flood.  You can also use malathion to control FAW caterpillars in rice.  The rate should be adjusted based on the size of the caterpillars, as I discussed in a previous post.   

Cattle egrets grazing on fall armyworm caterpillars in rice.

 

 One clue that armyworms might be in your field is an abundance of cattle egrets – commonly referred to as “white birds”.  These birds are attracted to the field to eat the armyworms.    

I noticed that some of the FAW larvae in the field were parasitized by a wasp (eggs on the back of the larva).    

Eggs on back of FAW are deposited by a wasp. The wasp larvae will hatch and then consume the caterpillar. Unfortunately, insecticides will kill the beneficial insects and the pest.

 

 We stopped and watched the behavior for a while and it was stunning to see how quickly they can strip a leaf blade off a rice plant.  I can see how they can nearly defoliate a field in a short period of time.     

FAW systematically defoliating a rice plant. Notice the distinct Y-shaped pattern on the head.

 

  You can easily locate FAW larvae by sweeping in an unflooded field.   

Crop consultant Mr. Augustine prefers to use a sweep net to sample for FAW caterpillars in rice. FAW caterpillars in a sweep net. Notice the wide variation in color.

 

 We noticed a wide range of caterpillar color patterns.  This is pretty common with fall armyworms.  

FAW caterpillars in a sweep net - notice the variation in color.

I’m working on some diagrams that show you how to tell the species apart.  I will post when they are prepared.  I am curious to see which strain of FAW is infesting the rice.  There are two strains – the corn and the rice strain.  I’m rearing some of these caterpillars to the adult stage and will let you know what we find.

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Today we met with Mr. BD Fontenot to gather cores from a test site in Evangeline Parish.  BD identified the test plots for us and then headed out to scout fields.  Before he left, he received a call reporting that rice, which was happy and healthy last week, had suddenly started to die on one edge of the field.  BD scouted the field and called to report excessive chinch bug populations and injury.  This is an 85 acre field of CL151 planted on April 17, 2010 that is just starting to tiller.  The damage is pretty severe, but quick action will probably save the rest of the field.

Chinch bugs marching across the field from the edge.

Fallow field, dying weeds on levee and infested field. Most likely the chinch bugs moved from the dying grasses into the growing rice.

Dehydrated and dying plants were occassionally found near healthy plants that were starting to dehydrate. This was commonly found on the advancing edge of the infestation.

The brown specks on the plants are chinch bug nymphs and adults. We saw upwards of 30 chinch bugs per plants.

Chinch bugs clustered onto a rice plant - they prefer the shady side. The sun was nearly due overhead when we scouted, but it was still fairly cool out so they were up on the plants.

We also found nymphs near the soil line. This tendency to feed at the base of the plant and on growing points is what causes rice to stunt and die as a result of chinch bug injury.

Adult chinch bugs have a black and white hour glass pattern on their wings. We found a few adults, but the majority were third to fourth instar nymphs.

BD plans to apply Karate with the second application of Newpath and then bring on permanent flood as soon as possible.  Water was already moving into one of the cuts.

Applying a flood or flush to the field should help this problem, but in this case the population is large enough to warrant a pyrethroid application.

Field crew members Tiffany, Nick and Lukas sweeping for chinch bugs.

If you suspect you have a chinch bug problem, it is best to sweep using a net early in the morning to scout the field.  Later in the day, when it is warm, the chinch bugs will move into the soil cracks and can be extremely difficult to find.  Symptoms of chinch bug damage using include a red to orange leaf, in this field most of the plants that were injured were already starting to die.  I didn’t notice the same typical red/orange leaf that you will see in older rice.

Hopefully Karate in application with a permanent flood will prevent further damage.  Today I also had reports of more fields with thrips damage in St. Landry Parish and more rice water weevil injury.  The insects don’t seem to mind this warm, dry weather.

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Yesterday, County Agent Stuart Gauthier pulled core samples at the test site farmed by Alden Horton.  Alden wanted to really study the management of rice water weevils in a water-seeded system.  In this case, the only option for pesticide management is the use of pyrethroids.  The first step was to spend the time to scout properly before and after permanent flood for the presence of rice water weevil adults.  Stuart worked closely with Dr. Saichuk, myself and Alden to check the field on a regular basis – at least weekly, but often times more frequently.   It was a tough decision to decide on weevil management at this site. 

Permanent flood was applied on April 23, 2010. We scouted before flood, did not find weevils, so we decided to hold off on spraying.

On May 6, 2010, Stuart scouted the fields with Johnny and Alden.  At this time, the rice was at mid-tillering and rice water weevil adults (including mating pairs) were found in the field.  The population was sparse, but there are often many more that you don’t see.  We recommended an application of 2.0 fl oz of KarateZ.  Two small cuts that were separated by levees from the treated fields were left untreated for comparison.

We gathered 10 cores per field 4 weeks after permanent flood.  This is when you will see a peak in the population.  We processed the cores at the rice station yesterday – 10 cores per field – untreated and Karate treated.  In the untreated check, the average number of larvae per core was 4.8.  By comparison, the Karate treated field had a population of 0.9 larvae per core.  Much research has led us to conclude that each larvae can cause 0.5 to 1.5% yield loss.  Based on this estimate, we would predict that a yield loss from 2.4 to 7.2% may be experienced at this field site.  It appears that a treatment was called for at this location.

We’ll let you know how it looks as the season progresses.  We will probably have a stop here at the Vermilion Parish rice tour on July 6, 2010.

Our sincere thanks go to Mr. Alden Horton for cooperating in this demonstration test.

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2010 Southwest Rice Tour

 

9:00 – 9:30                     Coffee and Registration, Fenton CO-OP, Fenton

9:30 – 9:40                     Travel to Mr. Jimmy Hoppe’s Farm

9:40 – 10:00                  Rice varieties, Dr. Steve Linscombe and Dr. Sha Xueyan, Rice Breeding Rice Research Station

10:00 – 10:25               Rice Weed control update, Dr. Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter, Weed Science

10:25 – 10:40               Rice Disease Update, Dr. Don Groth, LSU AgCenter, Disease Pathologist

10:40 – 10:55               Rice Fertilization, Dr. Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter, Rice Research Station

10:55 – 11:10               RiceTec varieties, Cullen Minter, RiceTec

11:10 – 11:25               Travel to Mr. Mark Pousson farm north of Welsh

11:25 – 11:35               Rice Insect update, Dr. Natalie Hummel, LSU AgCenter, Entomologist

11:35 – 11:45               Travel to Welsh Community Center

11:45 – 12:00               Industry Update

12:00 – 12:15               Lunch courtesy of RiceTec

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This is a reminder about the rice field clinic to be held tomorrow morning. Reeton School road is located about 2 miles south of the caution light on Hwy 13 at the Mamou / Oberlin rd. intersection. At Reeton School rd. turn east, go to the 1st curve, (1 mile), and continue straight on the field rd. You should be able to see vehicles straight ahead of you on the field rd.

At the second stop, at Kody & Larry Biebers, we will have refreshments and snacks.

News Release

By Keith A. Fontenot

County Agent, Evangeline Parish

            The Evangeline Parish LSU AgCenter Cooperative Extension Service will hold its Annual Rice Field Clinic Tuesday, May 25, 2010 beginning at 8:00 a.m.  This year’s clinic will feature variety trials, fertilization, weed, insects and diseases of rice.

            Please join us on this day for a morning rice field tour.  We will meet at the agronomy plots first, at B & R Farms which are located one mile East of Highway 13 off of Reeton School Road.   After that part of the program we will travel about 3 miles North on Highway 13 to Bieber Road, then one mile west to the Kody & Larry Bieber farm bins for the rest of the tour program.

8:00—8:15 am  Arrival at  B & R farm field on Reeton School Road, Dr. Harrells Agronomy plots, site of Colaspis find

8:15—8:35        Dr. Harrell- Plot Research on Avail, Organolize, P, K, & Zn plots

8:35—9:00         Dr. Hummel—Dermacor, Cruiser Plot work, Colaspis & Weevil Control

9:00—9:15        Travel to Bieber Farms, site of variety test plots on Bieber Rd., 1 mile West of Mamou

9:15—9:35        Variety Development at the variety plots along the road, Drs. Linscombe & Sha

Under the oak tree:

9:40—10:00      Dr Saichuk—Growing Season Update, Field Situations

10:00—10:20    Dr Webster—Herbicide Application Updates; Other ??

10:20- 10:40     Dr. Groth—Fungicides; New Products,  Application Rates, Timing

10:40-11:00      Dr. Salassi—Market Update

Plenty of refreshments and snacks will be served, courtesy of RiceTec seed.  Even though you may not be able to stay for the entire meeting, we would like to have you visit with us as long as you can.

The LSU AgCenter prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disabilities, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status.   Persons with disabilities, who require alternative means for communication of program information or other assistance, should contact the Evangeline Parish office of the LSU AgCenter at (337) 363-5646.

Keith A. Fontenot

County Agent/Parish Chairman

Evangeline Parish

Office – (337) 363-5646

Cell – (337) 290-0510

Fax (337) 363-1210

E-Mail (kfontenot@agctr.lsu.edu)

Website (http://www.lsuagcenter.com)

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On Friday I scouted some fields with County Agent Stuart Gauthier in Vermilion Parish.  One field in particular was pretty insightful.  This location has not received any insecticide treatment for rice water weevils.  It was water-seeded, and has been under flood for one week.  Our primary concern scouting here was rice water weevil management.  As we walked through the field we noticed some substantial defoliation in patches throughout the field.  It took a little time, but we identified the culprit.   

Armyworm damage in rice.

 

Sometimes it looks like a mower went through the field.

 

Armyworm damage in rice, comparing stripping along the length of the leaf to the "lawn mower" damage.

 

Fall armyworm on rice.

 

Armyworms can be identified by the distinct "y" mark on the head capsule. In this case it is a little faint in color.

 

I have also received reports from county agents and consultants in Jeff-Davis, Evangeline and Acadia Parish that armyworms are a pretty common pest this season.  The only thing we can recommend is using a pyrethroid to control the caterpillars.  You can also try to drown them out, it just depends on the stage of growth of the rice, and the size (development) of the caterpillar.  If the caterpillars are small, they will continue to eat the rice for a while as they mature.  Control is probably a good idea if they are damaging rice.  If the caterpillars are larger when you find them then it is a bit of a judgement call – most of the damage may already be done.
 
We also found some thin areas in the field and an abundance of rice water weevil adults.

 

Thin stand in the field - for some reason these areas are even more vulnerable to attack by rice water weevils. Some suspect that it is due to moonlight reflecting off the water and attracting weevil adults.

 

Rice water weevil adults that were collected while feeding and mating on rice plants. It does take patience and persistence to find these in the field, but for some reason once you find one, you will find alot more.

We also found evidence of leafminer damage.   

Leafminer feeding injury on the edge of a rice leaf blade.

 

Unfortunately, this field had rice plants with roots that were already compromised by a herbicide application.  This, in combination with the insect problems, makes the situation even more serious.  We recommended a treatment with a pyrethroid to control the armyworm damage and also prevent further injury from rice water weevils.  It is likely that some egg-laying has already occured, but due to the young age of the rice, it is important to prevent further injury.  There is a crawfish pond nearby, so we recommended using Trebon 3G for control to avoid drift.  This will not prevent further injury from armyworms, but it should control the rice water weevils when they lay eggs.   

We left this field and traveled onto another field that has been under flood for three weeks with no weevil treatment.  Bucket samples of rice plants indicated populations ranging from 2 to 14 larvae per core.  The rice was at green ring and also showing some nutritional deficencies (Johnny will explain in his field notes this week).  If the rice was younger, the only option would be to drain.  Since the rice is already at green ring, draining was not advised because of the excessive loss of fertility that would occur during draining.  At this stage it is important to allow the rice to optimize fertilizer update.  It will be interesting to see how this field progresses.    

Next week will be busy with field meetings and the next three weeks we will be traveling around the state pulling cores samples.      

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Dear Readers – I want to make you aware of a possible threat to the future of the Southern Region IPM Center.   The opportunity to compete for regional funding allows us to focus our efforts on problems that are important to our region.  The SRIPMC is funding a research/extension project focusing on rice stink bugs that Mike Stout and I are leading in the southern region.  Following is a letter I received from SRIPMC Director Jim VanKirk.

May 12, 2010

We are writing to update you on the financial future of the Southern Region IPM Center. At the moment, unless plans are changed, that future does not stretch out much longer. Without your help, public sector support for IPM will be severely curtailed.

The situation:

As you may know, we have been federally funded for nearly a decade through a competitive USDA grant. The president’s budget for fiscal year 2011 does not include funds for Regional IPM Centers or any of the other programs in a special USDA line known as “406 Integrated Programs.” 

You have supported IPM in the past and we value your commitment to integrated pest management in the region and nationally. If you are in a position to voice your opinion about the benefit of integrated pest management and the Southern Region IPM Center, we encourage you to do so now.

At present we see three possible outcomes:

  1. If the FY 2011 budget passes as is, without any provision to restore Section 406 funding, then we expect SRIPMC on other important programs to quickly expire. We are currently applying for, and expect to receive, funding for our final year under the current grant cycle, sufficient to get us through to September 2011. Extensions would likely allow us to continue using any unspent funds as long as we can make them last, up to another year.
  2. If Congress (House and/or Senate) restores funding and language placing 406 programs back where they were in the USDA/NIFA budget, and if that restoration survives in the final budget approved by both House and Senate and signed by the President, then the 406 IPM programs including IPM Centers will continue to provide the important research and education that has led to so many economic, environmental, and human health benefits. At this point in the budget process the Executive Branch (President, USDA) are unable to implement such a restoration. Rather, Congress must initiate the budget change. This is the option preferred by many stakeholders.
  3. The President’s proposed budget calls for moving the funds that support section 406 but unfortunately not the 406 programs  into the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). This year’s version of the AFRI request for applications (RFAs) appear to contain no “home” for these programs. If next year’s AFRI RFAs include language setting aside funds specifically for the programs formerly managed under section 406, then the valuable IPM work could continue.

Keep in mind that section 406 entails important IPM grant programs beyond just IPM Centers including:

  • Crops at Risk (CAR): to support IPM research and implementation programs for crops that were dependent upon certain pesticides scheduled for phase-out as a result of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA). The focus of the CAR Program is on integrated activities for individual crops and was designed to support multidisciplinary research and extension efforts within a single crop.
  • Risk Avoidance and Mitigation (RAMP): to support research and implementation activities for multiple crop systems within a region. The focus is on integration of pest management programs for those systems with elevated risk from pest populations resulting from FQPA regulatory activities. Emphasis is on multi-pest, multi-crop, multi-state programs.
  • Methyl Bromide Alternatives (MBT): to support the discovery and implementation of practical pest management alternatives to methyl bromide uses or minimize methyl bromide emissions for which the United States is requesting critical use exemptions, in light of the world-wide phase-out of methyl bromide use
  • Organic Transitions (ORG): for development and implementation of research, extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic producers and producers who are adopting organic practices.

Beyond the “IPM portfolio”, this important funding line also includes USDA’s Water Quality, Food Safety and the Conservation Enhancement and Assessment Project.

What has been done?

We are aware of several efforts to bring this situation to light and correct it. For instance, Land Grant Universities have communicated their concern about loss of all 406 programs to USDA/NIFA through the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU). Many other organizations and individuals have likewise communicated with USDA. A new organization called IPM Voice will soon unveil an effort surrounding these issues.

Until and unless support for these programs is reinserted into the Federal budget (an action only Congress can initiate now) and survives in a bill signed into law, we cannot know the outcome of these efforts.

What can you do?

If you believe that this pending change should be corrected, there are steps you can take.

  1. Inform yourself and your peers about this situation. Please feel free to pass on the information in this letter to whomever you think should know about it. Those of us employed by public universities may be constrained in how we can communicate with elected representatives, but none are constrained from educating our peers about the situation.
  2. Many believe that restoration of 406 programs and funding within the USDA budget as previously funded is the preferred solution. Legislators on the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittees of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are the people who are best able to initiate restoration of section 406 programs in the FY 2011 budget. Those committees include the following legislators from states covered by SRIPMC:

House Agriculture Appropriations Committee members from the South:

Allen Boyd (FL): http://boyd.house.gov/

Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA): http://bishop.house.gov/

Lincoln Davis (TN): http://www.house.gov/lincolndavis/

Jack Kingston (GA): http://kingston.house.gov/

Rodney Alexander (LA): http://kingston.house.gov/


Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee members from the South:

Senator Mark Pryor (AR): http://pryor.senate.gov/public/

Senator Thad Cochran (MS): http://cochran.senate.gov/

Senator Mitch McConnell (KY): http://mcconnell.senate.gov/public/

  1. Legislators often respond to the concerns of their own constituents. Whether or not your Congressperson or Senators are on the Appropriations committee, contacting them about issues that concern you should be beneficial.
  2. Another potential solution would be inclusion of language within the FY 2011 AFRI Requests for Applications to cover important IPM programs including Regional IPM Centers, CAR, RAMP, MBT and ORG. USDA has requested stakeholder input on AFRI through a Federal Register request. They will hold a public meeting for this purpose in Washington, D.C. on June 2 to which you are invited. Second, you may register written comments by June 7th in several ways, including via afri@nifa.usda.gov (write docket number NIFA-2010-0001 in your email)  

Our unique strengths have helped us to nurture integrated pest management in the region and beyond. We would welcome an opportunity to continue serving in this capacity. We send this letter to you thinking that you are already well-informed about what IPM Centers do to serve the public, but include some talking points on the following page in hope of assisting as you inform others about the situation.

Sincerely,

James R. VanKirk

Director, Southern Region IPM Center

1730 Varsity Drive, Ste. 110

Raleigh, NC 27606

919-513-8179

 jim@sripmc.org

http://www.sripmc.org

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