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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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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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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
CruiserMaxx

1.5

Dermacor X-100

0.5

NipsIt INSIDE

1.15

Untreated

2.4

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.

Acknowledgements:

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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On Friday, Nick and I made the trek to West Carroll Parish in north Louisiana to scout a rice field that Richard Costello had called me about on Thursday. The field was initially thought to be suffering from herbicide drift injury.

Field infested with thrips.

LSU AgCenter County Agent Myrl Sistrunk had called Weed Scientist Bill Williams out to investigate. Upon a detailed inspection they found a damaging infestation of thrips.

The thrips could easily be found on virtually every plant we inspected. The best scouting method for thrips is to visually inspect plants. The thrips were often found on the leaf sheath near the collar or inside the leaf sheath.

Thrip on leaf blade near collar - this is a typical location to find them on the plant.

They will quickly run/hop when disturbed. You can also tap plants onto a white sheet of paper and look for the thrips on the paper.

Thrip on rice leaf blade.

I learned first-hand that they will in fact “bite” you with their rasping mouthparts. They annoyed us for most of the ride home. Thrips injure plants by using a scraping mouthpart to macerate (tear) the leaf tissue. They then extract the plant liquids. This causes desiccation and would typically not be a problem, except for the dry, windy conditions we are experiencing this season.

Thrip feeding injury on a rice leaf. In many cases there were streaks of white near the leaf tip.

I have not had the chance to confirm the species yet, but it looks like they may be tobacco thrips. The infestation and plant damage in this particular field is disconcerting because the field is CruiserMaxx treated hybrid planted at a 25 pound seeding rate. The situation is complicated by the fact that the field has received about 10 inches of rain since planting. This was received in five separate rain events.

 The field started to head south after a flush was applied about a week ago. At this point the field is very dry and plants appear to be desiccating and stressed from the thrips feeding on the leaves. The field isn’t ready to hold a flood yet. We could not find any natural enemies in the field, and due to the ongoing injury caused by the thrips feeding I recommended a pyrethroid application to knock back the thrips population and buy some time before flood.

Also, the lack of apparent activity against the thrips caused some concern about the ability of the CruiserMaxx to provide effective control of rice water weevil larvae after application of permanent flood.  They may consider a second application of pyrethroid at permanent flood if weevil adults are present in the field. Overall the field still has a good stand of rice, which appears to be thicker than many hybrid rice fields I have scouted this season.

On our way back to Baton Rouge we took the levee road and witnessed the Morganza Spillway flooded with water.

You can see in this picture how close the water came to the top of the levee - just south of Vidalia, north of Blackhawk Farm.

We also saw some deer grazing in a soybean field that was mostly flooded. If you’ve read Johnny Saichuk’s field note for this week you’ll notice that we observed the same herd of deer. Apparently they are well-settled in this field. It looks like whatever the water doesn’t take, the deer will finish off.  

I have more pictures to share, but I don’t have the files with me at the moment.

Also, this week I had reports of sugarcane beetles, armyworms, chinch bugs, and colaspis in Louisiana rice. Many of these early-season insect pests should go away as we approach permanent flood. Then we’ll need to make sure good plans are in place for rice water weevil management.

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 I had some technical difficulties with the blog last week, so this posting is a little delayed.  Also, before you get into it, I’d like to talk about more insect problems. The dry conditions are continuing to create headaches. I’ve had about 5 more calls about chinch bugs, rice levee bill bugs in rice. Some are reporting successful control with a spray of pyrethroid to control the insects. I would caution you to avoid using an insecticide unless you can confirm the presence of the insect causing injury. There are some mystery problems out there and it is easy to blame insects in some cases.

 

The bottom line is that if you can’t find any insects causing injury, then there is no point paying for an insecticide application.I know it is hard to scout in the wind and the dry conditions. Scouting early in the morning will increase your chances of finding chinch bugs in rice. Also, scouting the vegetation of the edges of the field – particularly sweeping grasses with a sweep net – is another good scouting method for chinch bugs. Tomorrow we will be in Vermilion Parish for a morning meeting and a walk with Dr. Saichuk at the verification field. In the afternoon, we will head to Jefferson-Davis Parish to scout some of these fields that are/have suffered injury from chinch bugs, rice levee bill bugs, and/or colaspis.

 
St. Landry Parish Vince Deshotel and Anna taking plant heights.   
 

 

St. Landry Parish rice water weevil demonstration site field map.
 
After we found colaspis in Jefferson-Davis Parish last week, we headed over to St. Landry to take stand data at Charlie Fontenot’s farm. We met with Valent company representatives Karen Arthur, John Bordlee and Bill Odle to discuss this location and the other sites.  Charlie Fontenot, Crop Consultant Dean Reed and County Agent Vince Deshotel also met us at the field. We did not notice any obvious visual differences between treatments, but all treatments looked a little better than the untreated. We will report the overall stand observations once we have take data at all sites.  

 
 
 All plots are marked with colored flagging, so feel free to contact County Agent Vince Deshotel if you’d like to drive by and visit the test site.

 

Bill Odle, Dean Reed, John Bordlee and Charlie Fontenot examining the stand at the St. Landry Parish demo location.

 

Plants grown from NipsitInside to the left and Dermacor X-100 to the right.
Plants grown from untreated rice seed to the left and CruiserMaxx treated plants to the right.

 We intend to plant our last site – located in Avoyelles Parish – on Wednesday. We will take stand data at the Calcasieu site on Thursday. Busy week of field work ahead!

 

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This morning I received another call about chinch bugs infesting seedling rice – this is the fourth call I’ve had this season, so I want to remind field scouts to be on the look-out for this pest. So far they have been reported in Jeff-Davis, Evangeline and St. Landry Parishes. Chinch bugs can quickly move in and reduce a stand of rice. Click here to read more about chinch bugs and the damage they can cause to a rice field. Rapid identification and a prompt response are key to minimize the impact of a chinch bug infestation.

In one case, there was a minsconception that Dermacor X-100 would control chinch bugs. While these new chemistries provide excellent control of rice water weevil larvae, they are often limited in their ability to control other insects. Keep in mind that each of the seed treatments controls a specific group of pests. 

Below is a list of the available seed treatments registered for use in Louisiana rice production and which pests they can control (or at least suppress):

CruiserMaxx & NipsitInside should control infestations by the following:

  • Rice water weevil larvae
  • Rice water weevil adults – suppression
  • Chinch bugs
  • Colaspis larvae
  • Thrips
  • Aphids

CruiserMaxx and NipsitInside will not control infestations by the following:

  • Fall armyworms
  • Stem borers
  • Seed midge
  • Rice leafminer
  • South American rice miner
  • Stink bugs attacking late-season 
  • Spider mites

Dermacor X-100 should control infestations by the following:

  • Rice water weevil larvae
  • Rice water weevil adult – minimal suppression
  • Colaspis larvae – suppression
  • Fall armyworms
  • Stem borers
  • Rice leafminer
  • South American Rice Miner
  • Seed midge (although this should not be a problem in drill-seeded rice)

Dermacor X-100 will not control infestations by the following:

  • Chinch bugs
  • Thrips
  • Aphids
  • Late-season stink bugs
  • Spider mites

To learn more about identification of the different insects that attack rice, please visit the LSU AgCenter Rice Insect Identification guide by clicking here.

You can read more about the seed treatment options by viewing the presentation I gave at the Louisiana Agricultural Consultants Association Meeting in Feb 2011.  It is can be downloaded by clicking here.

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Today Anna and I met with County Agent Barrett Courville and Crop consultant Rustin Gilder at the Acadia Parish demo site which is farmed by Glen and Wes Simon. We were pleased to find a healthy, rigorous stand of rice. Much of the field is already at tillering stage just two weeks after seedling emergence! This location was planted with XL745 at #25 seeding rate.

We used the same method as last year – counting the number of plants and taking plant heights on ten randomly selected plants at five random locations in each strip.

Anna Meszaros and Barrett Courville taking stand data in Acadia Parish.

We did not notice any obvious visual differences between seed treatments (at this location we are comparing CruiserMaxx, Dermacor X-100, NipsitInside to an Untreated check). The following series of pictures includes every possible side by side comparison of treatments:

Rice grown from CruiserMaxx treated seed to the right and Dermacor X-100 treated seed to the left.

Rice plants grown from CruiserMaxx treated seed to the right and Untreated seed to the left.

Rice grown from Dermacor X-100 treated seed to the right and NipsitInside treated seed to the left.

Rice grown from NipsitInside treated seed to the right and CruiserMaxx treated seed to the left.

Rice grown from seed treated with NipsitInside to the right and untreated seed to the left.

Rice grown from Untreated seed to the right and Dermacor X-100 treated seed to the left.

It was not difficult to find rice water weevil adult scarring in the field. We did not observe any rice water weevils.  The field had recently received a flush. It was difficult to assess a difference in the severity of scarring between treatments, but our sense was that it was a little more prevalent in the untreated strips.

Rice water weevil adult scarring injury on an untreated plant.

We will continue to monitor this field for any other insect problems that might occur. The next step will be to take rice water weevil core samples four weeks after permanent flood.

It sure is dry out there – we could use some good rain. In these dry conditions it is important to remember to actively scout for chinch bugs – they tend to thrive in these dry conditions, especially if weeds or pasture near a rice field start to dehydrate.

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