Archive for June, 2011

I’ll be speaking at the Vermilion Rice Field Day on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Here is the tentative agenda. I hope to see you at the field day. Also, as a reminder, the Rice Station field day will be held on Thursday, June 30, 2011.

First Stop—2:30p.m.

Soybean Group V Variety Trial

Buster Hardee Farm

North side of Hwy 14 and Meridian Line Rd intersection

Dr. Ronnie Levy

Soybean Specialist

Second Stop—3:00p.m.

Early Planting Date Water Weevil Survey

Hwy 14 and Hwy 711 intersection—north side of Rd

Edwin Miller Farm

Dr. Natalie Hummel

Rice Entomologist

Third Stop—3:15 p.m.

Field Damaged by Salt

Just past Hwy 711 and Burnell Rd intersection on East Side of Hwy.

Buster Hardee Farm

Dr. Johnny Saichuk

Rice Specialist


N-ST*R Test

Dwight Hardee Farm

North side of Burnell Road right Before Hardee Shop

Dr. Dustin Harrell

Rice Agronomist


Early Soybean Planting Date Study

Dwight Hardee Farm

Dr. Ronnie Levy

Soybean Specialist

Fourth Stop—3:45 p.m.

N-ST*R Test

North on Hwy 91 then west on Zaunbrecher Rd.  Field is on South Side of the Highway

John and Matthew Zaunbrecher Farm

Dr. Dustin Harrell

Rice Agronomist

Fifth Stop—4:30 p.m.

Rice Disease, Variety, & Agronomy Research Plots

Lounsberry Farm

¼ mile before the Lake Arthur Bridge off of Hwy 14

Dr. Don Groth—Rice Pathologist

Dr. Steve Linscombe—Rice Breeder

Dr. Sha Xueyan—Rice Breeder

Final Stop—5:00 p.m.

Lounsberry Shop

Rice Economic Update & Meal

Dr. Mike Salassi or Dr. Kurt Guidry

Rice Economists

For more information please contact:

Stuart J. Gauthier

County Agent

Vermilion Parish

1105 West Port

Abbeville, LA 70510



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It’s funny how when you work a field crop, life eventually moves in a pretty predictable cycle. Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to start scouting for rice stink bugs in headed rice, although it does seem to be coming a little bit earlier than usual. This is probably a result of very early planting of rice in some parts of south Louisiana. Unfortunately, field conditions are favoring a bad year for stink bugs. The drought conditions have killed off grasses that would normally serve as a host/reservoir for stink bugs, so there is a chance they will move more readily into heading rice. Recent reports from Arkansas and Mississippi indicate that large populations of rice stink bugs are present in the mid-south. We are already finding them in headed rice fields at the rice research station in Crowley, La.

Last Friday, Johnny Saichuk and I scouted a variety trial in Vermilion Parish where the CL111 was heading first and was already infested with rice stink bugs.

Rice stinkbugs are light tan in color with points on the corners of the pronotum.

I received a call about the field because they noticed quite a bit of blanking in the panicles. They also found a high population of grasshoppers and suspected they may have been causing injury.

Longhorned grasshopper adult in heading rice. You can tell it is an adult because of the wings.

When we assessed the situation, Johnny determined that the blanking was most likely physiological, some sort of effect of weather conditions when the rice was at panicle development (pd). You can read more about it in his field notes. If you don’t receive Johnny Saichuk’s Field Notes via e-mail, please send Johnny an e-mail to be added to his list: jsaichuk@agcenter.lsu.edu. As we examined the grasshopper situation, we found that the grasshoppers were long-horned grasshoppers, which are typically predators. We would not recommend treating for grasshoppers unless they are causing excessive defoliation. Click here to read more about long-horned grasshoppers in rice. Odds are that they were attracted by the rice stink bugs, which we did find to be abundant in the field. We advised holding off on an insecticide application until the rice reached 50% heading. It is very tempting to put out a pyrethroid with the fungicide application at early-heading, but research has shown that this is too early to prevent injury. Putting out an early application will probably just add to the number of times you need to spray the field, while not providing any additional protection. To learn more about rice stink bug management click here.

We have a graduate student, Bryce Blackman, who is currently studying rice stink bugs for his dissertation research. One aspect of his work is to re-evaluate treatment thresholds. At the moment, we continue to use the standard recommendations. To scout for rice stink bugs in the field, use a 15-inch diameter sweep net, take 10 sweeps at 10 different areas around each field. Count the number of bugs collected after every 10 sweeps. In the first two weeks of heading, treat fields when there are 30 or more bugs per 100 sweeps. Pesticides that can be used include malathion, methyl parathion and a variety of pyrethroids including Declare, Karate Z, Mustang Max, Prolex and a number of generics. From the dough stage until two weeks before harvest, treat fields when there are 100 bugs per 100 sweeps. When approaching two weeks before harvest, you can treat with any of the chemicals listed above with the exception of Karate Z and Prolex, which have 21 day pre-harvest intervals. You can learn more about rice stink bug biology by clicking here.

Resistance to pyrethroids has been increasing in Texas, and there is a chance that we could have some issues with resistance developing in Louisiana also. If you have a field where you are finding it particularly difficult to control the rice stink bugs with your traditional control strategies, please contact me so we can sample the insect population. If you have further questions about rice stink bug management, please contact your local County Agent.

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I had planned to write about rice stink bugs today, but something else came up during our field work. Yesterday, at the Simon field site tour stop, Mr. Eddie Eskew told me about a field of rice that was suffering from a severe infestation of armyworms. Up to this point in the season, I’ve had a few calls about armyworms, but nothing out of the ordinary. We wanted to collect caterpillars to add to our lab colonies on campus, so we headed to the field today. I thought you would like to see what can happen when armyworms march across a rice field.

Last week this field of XL729 was progressing nicely. You can see in this picture how nice the surrounding fields are looking.

Field suffering from armyworm infestation to the left of the levee and a healthy field to the right of the levee.

The grower called Eddie on Tuesday when he found armyworms infesting the field. They had marched in from the tree line on the edge of the field and quickly progressed across to the field road. No appreciable damage was observed in surrounding cuts, although we did notice birds in a neighboring field, which were probably feeding on armyworm caterpillars.

Cattle egrets (the white birds) and "trash birds" (the black birds) as they are called by my student worker. Birds are a good indication of an insect infestation.

When we pulled up to the field it was not hard to observe the significant injury the armyworms were causing to the plants.

Eddie Eskew (G&H) collecting armyworm caterpillars in an infested field.

This particular field was planted in late April with the intention to harvest a rice crop. It will also be stocked with crawfish for harvest next spring. This creates complications when it comes to pest management. Insecticides which would effectively control the armyworms will be toxic to crawfish. For this reason, we cannot recommend any insecticides for control. If the armyworms were younger (most were large and probably near pupation) we would consider using Bt to control the population. The only measure that can be used is to bring flood water and drown them out. In this field, water had been on the field for about 48 hours and many of the caterpillars were still feeding on plants. On the positive side, they no longer had access to the crown of the plant. This is important for a rice plant because the leaves arise from the crown. You can think of this as being similar to your lawn. You can hit it with a mower and it will regrow every week (if we get any rain). This is also true for rice. Ideally we would not be mowing the rice plants, the plants that survive will likely be stunted. We collected some caterpillars to add to our lab colony. There is a good chance that most are either parasitized or will die of disease. This is what we typically find in field-collected armyworms. Unfortunately, the naturally occuring pathogens and parasitoids that attack armyworms in the field usually do not act quickly enough in a rice field to provide natural control and prevent severe injury. Following is a series of pictures of the field injury and caterpillars in the rice.

Field of XL729 that is suffering from an armyworm infestatiohn. The armyworms have been in the field for about 72 hours. Flood was applied about 24 hours after the initial infestation.


Many armyworm caterpillars feeding on a rice plant.


The armyworms were clustered onto the stubs of the plants mowing them down to the surface of the water.
On our way to the field I received a call from Kent Guillory, a consultant in Evangeline Parish, who also was treating a field infested with armyworms. I’d deduce from these two calls, that it is now time to start keeping an eye out for armyworms. You can see from our observations at this field that they can move in and cause significant injury in as little as a day. If you can preserve the crown of the plant it should be able to recover.
Tomorrow we will discuss rice stink bug infestations and management recommendations.

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We had an excellent crowd at the final stop of the LSU AgCenter south farm tour in Crowley, La this morning. For those of you that could not attend, here is what was discussed:

The RWW is 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.

Acadia Parish – Simon Farm

Location: South of Crowley, LA – at the intersection of Leger and Nelson Roads.

You can find a map of the field site by clicking here. The purpose of this demonstration test is to compare currently recommended insecticides on commercial farms in Louisiana. This year are comparing three insecticide seed treatments (CruiserMaxx, Dermacor X-100 and NipsIt INSIDE) to an untreated check.

Cooperator County Agent Consultant Variety Seeding Rate
Glen & Wes Simon Barrett Courville Rustin Gilder XL745 22 lbs/ac
Date Activity Date Activity
3/16/2011 Planting 5/18/2011 Permanent flood
4/03/2011 Stand count 6/14/2011 RWW Core sampling

04/03/2011 – Stand counts – 2 weeks after seedling emergence

Method of data collection: Counting the number of plants and taking plant heights on ten randomly selected plants at five random locations in each strip.

We did not notice any obvious visual differences between seed treatments.

06/14/2011 – Core sampling- 4 weeks after application of permanent flood

Method of data collection: Core samples gathered by walking through the field pulling cores at equally spaced intervals across the field. 10 samples were taken in each cut (20 cores/treatment).

RWW core data is an average of 20 cores/treatment.

Treatment Average # rww


Dermacor X-100






The infestation at this field site did not turn out to be severe enough to justify the cost of a seed treatment, but at some of our other test sites the infestations have been severe. We have collected up to 40 larvae in a single core. Once we are finished with all the core samples and can compare to the small plot trials Mike Stout is conducting at the LSU AgCenter rice research station, we will let you know how all the seed treatments have performed this season.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about RWW management or this demonstration please contact your local County Agent Barrett Courville or LSU AgCenter Extension Entomologist Natalie Hummel at nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu.


We would like to thank all the cooperators, consultants, sales reps, and dealers participating in this trial. Generous support for this demonstration test has been provided by the Louisiana Rice Research Board, DuPont Crop Protection, Valent, Syngenta, FMC, G&H, and Landis International

A lunch was served that was sponsored by Dupont (Toby McCown), Syngenta (Josh Zaunbrecher), and Valent (John Bordlee). Rustin Gilder also provided a tent and tables for the lunch area. You can’t put a price on the value of shade in the middle of the summer (oh, wait, we are only two days in… guess it will be a long one). We appreciate their on-going support of the LSU AgCenter rice extension entomology program.

Rice stink bugs are starting to show up in some of the fields that are heading. I’ll post a blog about this pest tomorrow.

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I received this notice from Evangeline Parish County Agent Keith Fontenot today. I would encourage you to attend the field day. It is always an educational program.

Below is the program for the Rice Research Station Field Day to be held  on Thursday, June 30, at the Rice Research Station North Farm. An excellent tour has been set up highlighting the research being carried out at the station, on off station trials, and also in cooperation with other universities and researchers. After the tours are completed the Poster sessions, and problems desk will be set up under the equipment shed, and anyone with problem plants is encouraged to bring them out to the field day for a diagnosis. The speakers program will feature results of the  activities of the Rice Research Board, a discussion on important issues coming up on the 2012 farm bill, Ducks Unlimited and some of the conservation work with wetlands, and remarks from Dr. Bill Richardson, Chancellor of the LSU AgCenter.

 R I C E   R E S E A R C H   S T A T I O N

F I E L D   D A Y   P R O G R A M

JUNE 30, 2011

Field Tours                                                                                           7:30 A.m. – 9:15 A.m.

Rice Variety Development and Production……………………… Drs. Steve Linscombe and Xueyan Sha

Rice Disease Control……………………………………………………… Drs. Don Groth and Clayton Hollier

Rice Insect Control……………………………………………………… Drs. Mike Stout and Natalie Hummel

Rice Weed Control…………………………………………………………… Drs. Eric Webster and Jason Bond

Rice Fertilization and Agronomics………………………………….. Drs. Dustin Harrell and Steve Phillips

The last tour will depart no later than 9:15 A.M.

Poster Session                                                                                    7:30 A.m. – 10:30 A.m.

Program                                                                                                                  10:45 A.m.

Activities of the Louisiana Rice Research Board ……………………………………..  Mr. Clarence Berken, Vice-Chairman, Louisiana Rice Research Board

Issues Driving the 2012 Farm Bill Debate……………………………………………… Mr. Kyle McCann, National Affairs Director, Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation

DU Wetland Conservation……………………………………………………………………….. Mr. Jerry Holden, Director of Conservation Programs, Ducks Unlimited

Remarks………………………………………………………………………………….. Dr. William B. Richardson, Chancellor, LSU AgCenter; Dr. John Russin, Interim Vice Chancellor and Director, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station; Dr. Paul D. Coreil, Vice Chancellor and Director, Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service



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CROWLEY, La. – An Acadia Parish field day covering research in rice and soybean production has been scheduled for June 15 at the South Farm of the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station south of Crowley.

The field day will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and end with lunch at noon. Topics for presentation by LSU AgCenter scientists will include a rice disease update, rice variety development, soybean variety trials, rice fertilization, weed control and rice insect management.

The tour will start at 9 a.m. After touring the South Farm, the event will move to the nearby farm of Glen and Wes Simon where we have a rice water weevil insecticide demonstration test.

For more information, contact Barrett Courville, LSU AgCenter county agent in Acadia Parish, at 337-788-8821.


Contact: Barrett Courville at 337-788-8821 or Bcourville@agcenter.lsu.edu

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

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