Archive for February, 2011

This week we’ve continued to travel the state and meet with cooperators for the LSU AgCenter rice water weevil (rww) demonstration test. In case you are a new reader to the blog, you can read more about rww at http://bit.ly/haGduU. You can also see a video on how to scout for rice water weevil adults and larvae at this website: http://bit.ly/gUJe8R

RWW are the most important insect pest of rice in Louisiana. Adults enter fields either before or after permanent flood.  Injury begins when adults feed on plant leaves making longitudinal scars. If scarring is excessive the field will sometimes have the appearance of being “painted” with white paint. In some instances adult feeding can be severe enough to merit an insecticide spray before application of permanent flood. Mating commences soon after adults enter the field, but oviposition of eggs occurs after application of permanent flood. Larvae hatch from eggs, feed briefly within the leaf sheath, and then swim through the flood water to burrow into the mud and begin feeding on the roots of the rice plant. This larval feeding on the roots is the primary source of damage caused by rice water weevils when they attack the rice plant. In some cases, root pruning can be so severe that plants will fall over in the field. In other cases, root pruning in not severe enough to cause lodging, but can still significantly reduce yield.

The purpose of our rice water weevil demonstration test is to compare currently recommended insecticides on commercial farms in Louisiana. This year we are restricting our test to comparison of three insecticide seed treatments (CruiserMaxx, Dermacor X-100 and NipsitINSIDE) which will be compared to an untreated check. These products were described in my last blog posting, so I won’t spend a lot of time describing them here.

Yesterday we met with Farmer Charlie Fontenot, Crop Consultant Dean Reed, and County Agent Vince Deshotel in St. Landry Parish. Charlie cooperated with us last year, and his farm had the most severe rice water weevil pressure of all locations. It will be interesting to see what we find this year. Charlie intends to plant XL745 at a seeding rate of 25 lbs per acre. We will plant two passes (reps) of each seed treatment, which will be compared to an untreated check. There is a good chance that we will plan a field meeting at this site sometime later this summer. We anticipate planting in mid-March.

After we completed our discussion about demo test plans, Bruce Schultz joined us to interview Charlie Fontenot for a feature story in Louisiana Farm and Ranch. Charlie was honored as St. Landry Parish Farmer of the Year for 2010. An accomplishment that he certainly deserves. Charlie has ramped up his production over the last few years and runs a beautiful operation in St. Landry. Look for the story in next month’s issue of Louisiana Farm and Ranch.

Today we met with Farmer Wes Simon (and his son Ethan), Crop Consultant Rustin Gilder, and County Agent Barrett Courville in Acadia Parish. 

County Agent Barrett Courville, Farmer Wes Simon and I discussing plans at the field in Acadia Parish.

This is our first year working with Wes and his father Glen.  Wes intends to plant either XL729 or XL745 at a seeding rate of 22 lbs per acre. 

Wes Simon measuring out the plot size with his tractor.

The planting arrangement will be the same as at Charlie’s farm – two passes for each seed treatment which will be compared to an untreated check. Depending on the weather this weekend, Wes will probably plant sometime next week. There is a good chance we will have a tour stop here in conjunction with the LSU AgCenter south farm tour this summer.

After we left Wes, we headed over to Calcasieu Parish to meet with Farmer Mark Stelly, Landowner Johnny Hensgens, Crop Consultant Randy Verret and County Agents Jimmy Meaux and Dusty Zaunbrecher. 

County Agents Jimmy Meaux, Dusty Zaunbrecher, Farmer Mark Stelly, and Johnny Hensgens discussing plans for the demo test site.

Plans for the demo field site in this parish will be very similar to our set-up in Acadia Parish. Mark intends to plant XL745 at a seeding rate of 25 pounds per acre.  Again, depending on the weather, this site will be planted sometime before early April.

Now we are headed to Breaux Bridge for their annual winter rice production meeting at 6 pm tonight at the St. Martin Parish LSU AgCenter office. I’ll discuss seed treatments for rice water weevil management.

All photos taken by Anna Meszaros.


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It’s almost that time of year again.  Today Anna and I met with County Agent Keith Fontenot and Evangeline Parish farmer Kenneth LaHaye to discuss plans for the 2011 rice water weevil demonstration test.  Kent Guillory is the consultant who will assist with monitoring this test location.

Mr. Kenneth LaHaye, County Agent Keith Fontenot, and me discussing plans for the demo test in Evangeline Parish.

This will be the third year that we have worked with Kenneth (and his dog Harley) on a demo test site. We appreciate his continuing support of our on-farm demonstration program. The last two years we worked with Kenneth near Chicot Lake.  This year, our test site is located near Vidrine on La-10. We will provide directions to the field after planting.

Kenneth's dog Harley - she makes for great company in farm work.

In the 2011 rww demonstration test we will restrict our insecticides to the three different seed treatments that are now available on the market.  These will be compared to an untreated check.  The table below compares these products:

Kenneth will be planting RiceTec variety XL745 at a 25 pound per acre seeding rate.  The seed treatments will be arranged in two blocks, with one rep in each block.  Each rep will include two 20 ft drill passes.  We intend to plant sometime between March 12 and 15, if the weather cooperates.  Kenneth has already prepared the land for planting.   A herbicide burndown of 32 oz/acre generic roundup and 2 oz/acre Valor was applied in November, 2010.  When looking at the field we noticed some areas where his burndown did not provide control.

The weedy strips in the field are the result of tapping the boom and turning off an outside nozzle.

Kenneth asked us to post this picture to illustrate how effective a burndown put out in November can be. The missed passes in the field are the perfect example of what he could have been fighting as he prepared to plant, had he decided to wait until spring to apply his burndown.  Last season Kenneth grew soybeans in this field.  Rice will be drilled into the stale seedbed at around 25 pounds per acre.  This soybean-rice rotation can sometimes be conducive to injury from the colaspis beetle.  We’ll be sure to monitor for injury from this pest when we take stand counts two weeks after emergence.

(All photos taken by Anna Meszaros).

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I received this message from Dr. Coreil, the Vice-Chancellor and Director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service.  I would encourage you to read it through so that you will be aware of continuing challenges we face over funding for Cooperative Extension Service activities in Louisiana.

This week the House of Representatives will debate H.R. 1, the Full Year Continuing Resolution (CR), to fund federal departments, agencies, and programs through Sept. 30, 2011. As reported last week, the CR would reduce the topline number for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA is the USDA agency that supports Land-grant research and extension) by $217.056 million compared to FY 2010. (See details at the following website: http://www.land-grant.org/reports/2011/02-11.htm). The Full Year Continuing Resolution (CR) on the House floor this week does not address all federal discretionary spending equitably. The CR would cut $217 million (16%) in critical food, agriculture, and natural resources research, extension, and education programs and operating budgets during the remaining seven months of FY 2011. This is more than 1.5 times greater than the 10.3% cut proposed in overall non-defense discretionary spending. Most troubling about the NIFA cuts in the House CR are the two programs which were singled out for the greatest reductions:

  • The Smith-Lever program would be cut by $29.8 million, a reduction that would harm 4-H clubs across America (which provide positive youth development to more than 6 million youth) and other Cooperative Extension programs that help farmers and ranchers grow more food and consumers eat nutritiously.
  • The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative would be cut by $34.7 million, a reduction that would dramatically scale back competitive grants that support critical national research of direct benefit to food, agriculture, and natural resources producers and consumers.

Opponents of congressionally directed spending repeatedly identify competitive programs as the preferred method of rewarding research funding. Yet, this bill eliminates congressionally directed spending while simultaneously cutting this flagship competitive grants program. State Extension programs were singled out for a 10% reduction this fiscal year – Smith-Lever funds which provide the bulk of federal support for Extension would be cut by almost $30 million across the nation. This would negatively affect our 3 core Extension programs that are beneficial to all 64 Louisiana parishes:

4-H clubs would be harmed across Louisiana:

(1) providing positive youth development for over 6 million youth across the nation, and (2) supplying the future workforce for the agriculture industry.

  • 240,000 youth participants in the 4-H program in Louisiana
  • 7,627 adult volunteers representing all 64 parishes were instrumental in the Louisiana 4-H program contributing a value of 1.27 million dollars of time
  • 4-H youth development program in all 64 parishes
  • 112,000 youth and adults addressed community needs through service and character education programs
  • 88,000 citizens received direct impact from service projects with $48,000 raised to assist with these projects
  • 4-H youth served 16,360 hours on service projects valued at $341,106

Farmers and ranchers would have reduced access to reliable, current, research-based information to grow more and better food, provide jobs and stimulate/grow rural and urban economies.

Food and nutrition programs that support the use of US farm commodities in feeding families according to healthy living guidelines would be reduced.

The NIFA reductions – especially Smith-Lever reductions – are very damaging to what we do in all 64 Louisiana parishes. Concerned stakeholders can help reduce these damaging cuts before the CR becomes law. Smith-Lever should be funded at no less than the FY 2010 enacted levels.

Anyone that would like to contact their congressional representative and/or senators can go to: http://house.gov and enter your Zip code at the top left. (Under the logo).

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I usually don’t post twice in one day, but I have some relevant news to report.  This morning, I received the following notice from Valent:

On Feb 7, 2011, US EPA granted the Experimental Use Permit (EUP) for NipsIt INSIDE® Insecticide for seed treatment use in rice.   The EUP is for the states of AR, LA, MS and TX  for a total of 40,000 acres for 2011 (and 40,000 acres for 2012 used prior to 6/23/2012). This includes 5,000 acres in Louisiana.  Rice water weevil and grape colaspis are target pests on the label.  According to the EUP, use of this product is restricted to dry-seeded rice in drill-planters.  The seeding rate cannot exceed 150 lbs/acre. The active ingredient in NipsitINSIDE is clothianidin which belongs to the neonicotinoid class of chemistry (the same class as CruiserMaxx).

We will include NipsitINSIDE in our 2011 rww demonstration test, with comparisons to CruiserMaxx rice and Dermacor X-100. 

For more information on NipsitINSIDE in Louisiana, you can contact your local County Agent or Mr. John Bordlee.

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Update: Lunch will be sponsored by Toby McCown (DuPont Crop Protection), Henry Stefanski (FMC), and Josh Zaunbrecher (Syngenta).  Door prizes will be provided by John Bordlee (Valent).  We appreciate their support of the training.

Meeting Announcement:

Second Annual LSU AgCenter Advanced Rice Entomology Training

Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Time: 9 am to noon

Location: LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station Auditorium – Crowley, LA.  Click here for directions.

Tentative Agenda

9:00 am          Welcome, introductions and (optional) pre-test

9:30                 Insect infestations in relation to rice crop phenology – Mike Stout, Professor, Dept. of Entomology, LSU AgCenter

                           You can download Mike’s powerpoint file by clicking here.

10:00               Rice stink bug management – Mike Stout and Natalie Hummel, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Entomology, LSU AgCenter

                           You can download Mike’s powerpoint file by clicking here.

10:30               Coffee break

10:45               Identification of immature stages of insects that attack rice – Rick Story, Professor, Dept. of Entomology, LSU AgCenter

                           You can download Rick’s powerpoint file by clicking here.

11:15               How to use the online rice insect identification guide and roundtable discussion about RiceScout app development project – Natalie Hummel   

                          You can visit the online id guide by clicking here

11:45               (optional) Post-test

Noon               Lunch will be served

A video recording of the presentations can be found by clicking here.

Continuing education units will be available.

The presentations will be recorded and posted online.

For more information you can contact me at,

Natalie A. Hummel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor/ Extension Specialist

LSU Agricultural Center

Department of Entomology

404 Life Sciences Building

Baton Rouge, La 70803

Office: 225-578-7386

Cell: 225-223-3373

Fax: 225-578-1643

e-mail: nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu

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Mark your calendars for the 2011 LACA Sponsored Louisiana Agricultural Technology & Management Conference
February 9-11, 2011
SAI Convention Center, Alexandria, LA

The program and meeting details can be found at this link.

Before the start of the meeting (from 11 am to 1 pm on Wednesday) we will show a series of scouting videos that LSU AgCenter specialists have posted at www.lsuagcenter.com. These videos include insects, diseases and weeds that affect rice, soybeans, and cotton. During the opening session on Wednesday afternoon, I’ll speak about using social media in agriculture. The rice sessions will be held Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Mike Stout and I will both speak about insect pest management on Friday morning. Hope to see you at the meeting.

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This article is reprinted from the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station newsletter.

Authors: Natalie Hummel and Michael Stout

Rice farmers in Louisiana who use seed treatments to manage insect pests in their fields have a choice of seed treatments in 2011: Dermacor™ X-100 (DuPont Crop Protection) and  CruiserMaxx® (Syngenta).  In addition, Valent has requested an experimental use permit (EUP) for NipsitInside seed treatment, an insecticidal seed treatment alternative similar to thiamethoxam.  If approved, NipsitInside will be used on a limited number of acres in Louisiana in 2011 and will potentially be available on a wider scale in 2012.  Although these three insecticidal seed treatments are similar in many respects, they also differ in key ways.  Understanding the similarities and differences between the two seed treatments is crucial to making the right insecticide choice for each rice field.

The key pest targeted by CruiserMaxx, Dermacor X-100, and NipsitInside is the rice water weevil, the most important early season insect pest of rice in Louisiana.  Dermacor X-100 has been evaluated against the rice water weevil in multiple small-plot tests over many years at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station in Crowley, and in addition has been used commercially in Louisiana the past three growing seasons.  Dermacor X-100 provides excellent control of rice water weevil larvae; in commercial fields, weevil populations were typically reduced by 90-95% compared to fields not treated for weevils.  CruiserMaxx has also been evaluated in multiple small-plot trials over the past several years at the Rice Research Station, and it too provides good control of rice water weevil larvae, although, in side-by-side comparisons of Dermacor X-100 and CruiserMaxx conducted in small plot trials at the Rice Research Station, control of weevil larvae given by CruiserMaxx is generally not as good as control given by Dermacor X-100.  In rice water weevil demonstration tests in commercial fields in 2010, we found that Dermacor X-100 provided the best level of weevil control, followed by pyrethroid (Karate pre, Karate pre + mustangMax on fertilizer post, or Karate post) and CruiserMaxx.  Dermacor X-100 provided significantly better control than the other two treatments.  There was no significant difference in weevil control between the pyrethroid and the CruiserMaxx seed treatment.  Unfortunately, the results from hybrid test plots (25 pound seeding rate) in 2010 did not provide any more clarity about the ability of CruiserMaxx to provide effective weevil control at the low seeding rates.  We plan to repeat the demonstration test again next season, particularly focusing on the low seeding rate question.  Small plot replicated research that may also clarify the question of effectiveness of CruiserMaxx at low seeding rates will also be conducted.  

Probably the most important difference between the three seed treatments is their activity against secondary pests.  Because these chemicals belong to different chemical classes (the active ingredient in Dermacor X-100 is a type of anthranilic diamide, whereas CruiserMaxx and NipsitInside are neonicotinoids), they are effective against different pests.  CruiserMaxx and NipsitInside will probably provide better control of colaspis larvae (present in a few fields in southwest Louisiana in 2009 and 2010) than will Dermacor X-100, and will also provide good early-season control of sucking insects such as aphids, thrips and chinch bugs.  Dermacor X-100, on the other hand, should provide excellent control of early-season Lepidopteran pests such as fall armwyorms.  Recent evidence from both Louisiana and Texas indicate that Dermacor X-100 provides protection against stem-boring insects.  Evidence from Texas also indicates that Dermacor X-100 may help control South American Rice Miner in rice.  The spectrum of pests controlled by each of these seed treatments is probably the most important consideration in choosing between the three.  As a related consideration, CruiserMaxx is marketed as part of a seed treatment “package” (CruiserMaxx® Rice) that includes fungicides that may help control seedling diseases and rice blast.

There are also similarities and differences in the agronomic practices that are used with each of these seed treatments.  Importantly, the use of both seed treatments is restricted to dry-seeded (drill-seeded or dry broadcast) rice; neither product can be used in water-seeded rice.  Also, the per-seed application rate of CruiserMaxx will not change with rice seeding rate, unlike Dermacor X-100, for which application rate is adjusted for seeding rate.  This may make CruiserMaxx easier to use, but it should be noted that the use of CruiserMaxx at very low seeding rates (for example, seeding rates typically used for hybrid rice varieties) has not always provided acceptable control in tests conducted by LSU AgCenter.  Details on the use patterns for NipsitInside are not known yet.

The expected availability of three seed treatments for insect control in rice, along with other available products for insect control (Karate, Mustang Max, and the other pyrethroids), gives Louisiana farmers a wide range of options for managing their insect pests in drill-seeded rice.  Unfortunately, there are not as many choices in water-seeded rice, and expanding the range of options for insect management in water-seeded rice is a continuing focus of research for the Entomology program.  

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