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Archive for December, 2010

It’s that time of the year again, all the rice folks hunker down for Christmas break and then hit the roads running to winter rice meetings across the state.  The first week of January will be busy, followed by a smattering of meetings throughout the month.  This post provides information for the meeting plans that have been finalized to date.  Please contact your local county agent for information on meetings in your region. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I look forward to seeing you in 2011.

DISCLAIMER: please contact your local County Agent to verify the time, location, and program for this meeting.

Southwest Louisiana Rice and Soybean Forum, January 4, 2011, Welsh Community Center. Agenda follows:

8:00 a.m.                                     Welcome……………………………………………………………… Allen Hogan & Barrett Courville

8:05 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.              Rice Production Practices for 2011………………… Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter Rice Specialist

8:30 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.              Rice Variety Update…………………………………… Dr. Steve Linscombe, LSU AgCenter Rice Breeder

8:55 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.              Rice Weed Management…………………………………. Dr. Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter Weed Scientist

9:25 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.              Rice Disease Management………………………………….. Dr. Don Groth, LSU AgCenter Plant Pathologist

9:50 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.            Rice Fertility…………………………………………………. Dr. Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter Agronomist

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.          Break

10:30 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.          Rice Insect Management……………………………. Dr. Natalie Hummel, LSU AgCenter Entomologist

10:55 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.          Rice and Soybean Market Update………………………. Dr. Kurt Guidry, LSU AgCenter Economist

11:20 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.          Soybean Varieties & Management Practice………… Dr. Ronald Levy, LSU AgCenter Soybean Specialist

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.         Lunch

12:30 p.m. – 12:55 p.m.         Soybean and Wheat Disease Management……….. Dr. Boyd Padgett, LSU AgCenter Plant Pathologist

12:55 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.           Soybean Weed Control……………………………………….. Dr. Jim Griffin, LSU AgCenter

1:20 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.             Soybean Demonstrations……………………………………….. Allen Hogan

2011 Evangeline/St. Landry Rice & Soybean School, Wednesday, January 5, 2011.  Please contact County Agent Keith Fontenot for an agenda and directions.

Acadia Parish, Rice & Soybean Producers Meeting, Thursday, January 6, 2011.  Acadia Parish LSU AgCenter office. Please contact County Agent Barrett Courville for more information.  Agenda follows:

7:30-8:00 a.m. Registration & Coffee

8:00-8:10 a.m. Introductions……………………………………………………………………….Barrett Courville, County Agent, LSU AgCenter

8:10-8:30 a.m. Rice Growers Annual Business Meeting……………………………………….Jerry Leonards, President

8:30-8:50 a.m. Rice Production Practices for 2011……………………………………………..Dr. Johnny Saichuk, Rice Specialist, LSU AgCenter

8:50-9:15 a.m. Rice Variety & Breeding Update…………………………………………………Dr. Steve Linscombe, Rice Breeder, Rice Experiment Station, LSU AgCenter

9:15 – 9:35 a.m. Rice Weed Management………………………………………………………….Dr. Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter

9:35-9:55 a.m. Rice Disease Control Update……………………………………………………….Dr. Don Groth, Pathologist, Rice Experiment Station, LSU AgCenter

9:55-10:15 a.m. Rice Fertility & Agronomics……………………………………………………..Dr. Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter

10:15-10:35 a.m. Rice Insect Control………………………………………………………………..Dr. Natalie Hummel, Entomologist, LSU AgCenter

10:35-10:45 a.m. Break – Coffee & Donuts

10:45-11:00 a.m. Rice & Soybean Market Update………………………………………………..Dr. Kurt Guidry, Economist, LSU AgCenter

11:00-11:20 a.m. Soybean Production Practices………………………………………………….Dr. Ronnie Levy, Soybean Specialist, LSU AgCenter

11:20-11:40 a.m. Soybean & Wheat Disease Update……………………………………………..Dr. Boyd Padgett, Plant Pathologist, LSU AgCenter

11:40-12:00 p.m. Soybean Weed Control Update………………………………………………… Dr. James Griffin, LSU AgCenter

12:00-12:15 p.m. Environmental Regulatory Issues……………………………………………. Randy Jemison, USA Rice

12:15-1:00 p.m. Lunch – Courtesy of Sponsors

1:00-1:30 p.m. WPS Regulations & Training……………………………………………………….Barrett Courville, LSU AgCenter

1:30-1:45 p.m. Pesticide Re-Certification……………………………………………………………Department of Agriculture & Forestry

The 38th Annual Vermilion Rice School is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 7, 2011 at the American Legion Home in Kaplan.  For more information please contact County Agent Stuart Gauthier.

The Northeast Louisiana Rice Forum will be held Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011 at the Rayville Civic Center. For more information, please contact County Agent Keith Collins.

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LSU AgCenter press release

Distributed 12/14/10

 The Mexican rice borer, a threat to sugarcane and rice, has moved eastward from Texas extending farther into Louisiana 

The insect was first found in Louisiana in December 2008 north of Vinton.

On Nov. 22, 2010, four male adults were found in a pheromone trap about six miles southwest of Sulphur, according to Gene Reagan, LSU AgCenter entomologist. Chris Carlton, director of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, confirmed that these trap catches were Mexican rice borers.

“This trap location is adjacent to a grassy area where no crops are grown, and it is within 15 to 18 miles of commercial sugarcane fields south of Lake Charles,” Reagan said.

Reagan’s graduate student, Julien Beuzelin, said the traps are set out by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. “Without their work, it would have not been possible to detect this insect’s movement,” Beuzelin said.

He said the LDAF had planned to end the monitoring program in early December, but after the Nov. 22 samples were found, the department has decided to continue the program into the spring.

Beuzelin said the discovery is a reliable indicator that the pest is continuing to move eastward in Louisiana.

“Since first being found in south Texas in 1980, they have consistently expanded their range along the Gulf Coast,” Beuzelin said.

In 2006, the Mexican rice borer was found in east Texas just one county away from Louisiana, and it was anticipated that it would be found in Louisiana in 2008. Only two weeks before the end of 2008, borers showed up in two pheromone traps five miles apart on the Louisiana-Texas line north of Vinton.

A 2007 study by LSU and Texas A&M projected an annual $45 million loss of revenue for Louisiana rice farmers once the entire state is infested.

The estimated damage for sugarcane is projected at up to $220 million in the next few years. Mexican rice borers are not obvious pests in rice until the crop is in the boot stage. But by the time it is found within rice plants, Reagan said, studies with Texas colleagues show that the population jumps rapidly. Reagan said that prompted the question to arise regarding the pest’s overwintering habitat.

Between growing seasons, the insect is found in high numbers in grasses such as Johnsongrass and vaseygrass.

Once the insect bores into sugarcane, insecticides don’t work well because the cavity created by the borer is filled with chewed plant material, frass, blocking a chemical’s entry, he said.

Insecticides work better on the pest in rice, Reagan said. However, three applications may be required in some east Texas areas. 

A new seed treatment, Dermacor, appears to help control the pest in rice. Originally, Dermacor was developed as a seed treatment for drill-seeded rice against the rice water weevil.

# # #

Contact: Gene Reagan at 225-578-1827 or treagan@agcenter.lsu.edu

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

To learn more about Mexican Rice Borer you can visit: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/communications/publications/Publications+Catalog/Crops+and+Livestock/Insect+and+Disease+Control/rice/Mexican+Rice+Borer+Identification+Card.htm.

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I’ve posted a short poll to see if there is interest in using an app of the Louisiana rice insects online guide, if it was created.  Just choose the option that best reflects your opinion.  If you have other thoughts, you can send them as a comment.

Would appreciate your feedback.  I like to build resources that people will use in the field.  Your responses will help us build relevant tools to support the rice industry.

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Thanks to Bruce Schultz for this nice press release about our guide.  If you haven’t tried it out yet, please visit the site when you have time.  I’d also love feedback about this guide, and where we can go with future development of this sort of technology.

News Release Distributed 12/03/10

Solving the whodunit mystery of insect damage in a rice crop will be easier with a new online program developed by the LSU AgCenter.

Using the process is as easy as playing the board game “Clue” because it uses a simple process of elimination, according to LSU AgCenter experts. But instead of guessing if the perpetrator was Col. Mustard armed with a lead pipe, the usual suspects will be arthropods (insects and mites) such as the rice water weevil, billbug, chinch bug or spider mites.

The program originated from a conversation with Evangeline Parish farmer Richard Fontenot, said LSU AgCenter entomologist Natalie Hummel. “The whole project was his idea.”

Anyone with access to the Internet through a smart phone can get to the guide in the field and through process of elimination, click on a list of symptoms and narrow down the pest and suggested treatments.

“It doesn’t require you to be an entomologist to use it,” Hummel said.

The website starts by asking users to identify the location of visible damage, then lists descriptions of different types of damage with photographs to illustrate the feeding signs so the user can identify the likely culprit.

For example, feeding on the lower part of the plant brings the user to the options of feeding signs on the leaf blade or another part of the plant. If the feeding is on the surface of the leaf blade, the next step is to choose between the first option of feeding on “narrow strips of leaf material removed between veins” or “other type of feeding damage or leaf dehydration.”

The first option would identify the suspect as Public Enemy No. 1 in rice farming, the notorious rice water weevil, or the lesser-known rice leaf miner. The second choice, “Other type of feeding damage or leaf dehydration,” asks the user to further identify the damage, choosing between broken leaf tips, which could be caused by the Southern green stinkbug, or dehydrated leaf tips, which is probably the work of aphids.

“At the final step, you will see a picture of the arthropod and some information about scouting and management,” Hummel said. The guide also has links to videos that show how scouting should be done for rice water weevils and colaspis, a small beetle.

Hummel said rice producers in states outside Louisiana will refer to the site because Louisiana is home to all of the rice insect pests. But she said pesticide recommendations on the website may not have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on rice in other states.

This project demonstrates how the LSU AgCenter meets the needs of farmers, said Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension.

“The online guide will aid farmers who need quick answers to their pest problems,” Coreil said. “With our increasingly tighter budget, we’ve got to figure out cost-efficient ways of providing help, and this is one way of accomplishing that.”

The site address is: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/ricepestguide.

Bruce Schultz

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