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Last week, Dr. Saichuk handled some insect related rice field calls. I thought you’d like to learn about his observations and how he recommended handling the pest problems. The problems were reported on the Louisiana crop blog. Click here for a link to a field Johnny scouted that had a thrips infestation. Learn more about thrips in rice at this linkClick here for a field Johnny scouted that had a rice water weevil adult infestation that was causing defoliation and death of seedlings. Click here for a fact sheet on rice water weevils.

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I am pleased to announce the release of the beta version of LSU AgCenter RiceScout app! The app was partially funded by a grant from the Southern Region IPM center and the Louisiana Rice Research Board. We greatly appreciate their support of this project. The creation of RiceScout was a tremendous team effort, including contributions from many faculty at LSU AgCenter, University of Arkansas and Texas AgriLife. The app was programmed by the Information Technology service unit at LSU AgCenter and editing was completed by the LSU AgCenter Communications service unit. Full credits to all authors and contributors can be found in the “About” section in the app. Special credit is due to Anna Meszaros who directed this project from start to finish.
The RiceScout app contains images, descriptions, and management information on insects, diseases and weeds that commonly occur in southeastern rice producing states. Information on crop fertility is also included. The purpose of the app to increase the speed and accuracy of rice fertility and integrated pest management crop decisions.
You can access a web-based version of the app at this link:
Please share this link with your contacts in the rice industry. The app should function on most smart phones and web browsers. Send an email to ricescout@agcenter.lsu.edu if you experience any technical difficulties or find an errors in the app.
We are in the process of developing a stand-alone app for the iPhone, iPad and Android – in the meantime, you can use this web-based version in locations where you have access to data on your phone.
To use the app, open up the link (http://ricescout.lsuagcenter.com) in your web-browser. A “splash” screen with the logo of the app will appear briefly on the screen while the app is loading in your browser. Once the app loads, you can use the touch screen on your smart phone to navigate through the content on the app. When you open the image galleries, you can navigate through the images by swiping on the phone screen. You can also zoom in for greater detail. Links to scouting videos and control recommendations can be opened up using links to websites within the app.
Hope your rice crop is moving along nicely. The rice I have seen in southeast Louisiana looks good.

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Our society has become increasingly mobile and access to the internet is improving rapidly, even in rural regions of Louisiana. Agricultural industries are reliant, more than ever before, on the internet to access critical, timely information to guide crop management decision. The LSU AgCenter has led the land grant university system in developing a comprehensive website that we use to distribute research-baesd information to rice producers. The design of our website continues to improve over time in response to feedback from our clientele.

After many long days spent in front of a computer screen we have completed a drastic revision of the layout and content of the LSU AgCenter Rice Insect Website. The new website has a simple layout with an easy to use menu at the homepage that will point you to all the resources you need to make pest management decisions in your crop. Click here for the new LSU AgCenter rice insect home page.

At the new home page you will find links to the following resources:

We are still developing some of the content. Soon you will also be able to access the following topics:
  • Demonstration tests (all the data and information on our demos over the past few years)
  • Meetings (Oral and poster presentations)
  • Rice Pest Management Guide and Insecticide links
  • Rice Extension publications

The inspiration for our redesign came from the LSU AgCenter Rice Disease website redesign. Now that the page is launched, we need your help. Please email (nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu) or comment here with any additional improvements we can make to our content. We will continue to revise the website based on your feedback.

Special thanks to Anna Meszaros, Lisa West and Nicholas Colligan for redesigning our website. I think you’ll be pleased with the new layout. If you are attending RTWG this week, look for a poster display by Anna that will introduce you to our new website.

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If you produced a rice crop last season, or advised on pest management of a US rice crop, please complete our online survey.

The purpose of this survey is to evaluate current management programs for rice insects. Your responses are used to guide future programs and support registration of insecticides. Please answer all questions as honestly as possible. Individual answers will be kept confidential. You can remain anonymous if you prefer. If you already completed a paper version of this survey this year at your winter production meeting, you don’t need to complete it again. If you have any questions, please contact Natalie Hummel at 225-223-3373 or nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu. We would appreciate your response by February 8.

Click on this link to complete the survey:

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22EMCGNZ47M

Summary reports from the 2009 survey can be found here.

 

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As the MRB continues to spread across Louisiana, it is becoming more critical for those associated with the rice and cane industries of Louisiana to become familiar with identification, biology and management of this pest. Drs. Gene Reagan (LSU AgCenter) and Mo Way (Texas A&M Agrilife) are hosting their annual Sugarcane Field Research Site Visit in Beaumont, TX on September 27 and 28, 2011. Louisiana and Texas Sugarcane and Rice Consultants, Agricultural Extension Agents, and Industry Cooperators are invited and encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, 27 September – 6:15 pm                 Meet in lobby of Holiday Inn and Suites to go to dinner probably at Papadeaux’s (optional)

Wednesday, 28 September – 8:00 am         Meet in front of Texas  AgriLife Research and Extension Center:

Please do not take any live insects from this location! 

Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center  at Beaumont, 1509 Aggie Drive, Beaumont, TX 77713

DIRECTIONS TO RESEARCH SITE:     9.5 miles west of Beaumont on Hwy 90, ~ 1 mile north on Aggie Drive 

Dr. Ted Wilson (Center Director): Welcome and introduction

Dr. Gene Reagan: Overview of planned activities, handouts, and instructions to go to the field

ACTIVITIES

  1. Dr. Bill White: Variety diversity in the test
  2. Dr. Gene Reagan, Dr. Julien Beuzelin, and Mr. Blake Wilson: Hands-on sampling for Mexican rice borer ( MRB) and sugarcane borer (SCB) injury in sugarcane varieties
  3. Mr. Blake Wilson: Use of MRB pheromone traps to help with scouting.
  4. Dr. Julien Beuzelin and Mr. Matt VanWeelden: Multi-crop bioenergy research.
  5. Dr. Mo Way: Observe MRB and SCB damage and discuss insecticides and cultural practices in rice
  1. Observe MRB and SCB larvae in replicated test of Louisiana sugarcane varieties (HoCP 08-726, Ho 08-711, L 08-092, HoCP 91-552, L 07-57,Ho 08-706, Ho 08-717, L 79-1002, Ho 02-113, HoCP 04-838, L 08-090, HoL 08-723, Ho 08-709, HoCP 00-950, Ho 07-613, L 08-088, L08-075, HoCP  85-845, Ho 05-961)

or visit demonstration of sugarcane stalk splitter machine (Gene Reagan).

Wednesday, 28 September – 11:00 am           Sun grant/Chevron/Beaumont energy cane and high biomass sorghum research near main building, Texas AgriLife Research and  Center at Beaumont, 1509 Aggie Dr., approx. 9 miles west of Beaumont on Hwy 90.

Wednesday, 28 September – Noon                 Adjourn and return home

RESERVATION AND HOTEL INFORMATION

Holiday Inn and Suites

3950 I-10 South

Beaumont, Tx 77705

409-842-7822 (hotel)

409-842-7810 (fax)

For hotel reservations call 409-842-5995

Any time prior to Tuesday, 20 September                   Reservation Code: LSU Entomology

You may reserve rooms with Samantha by email at: samantha.richards@jqh.com

$79.00 + tax reduced rate, Breakfast buffet (6:00 AM) included

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I didn’t set out yesterday knowing the day would play out like it did, but in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we wound up with five insects to discuss.  All of which we found in rice fields on Cinco de Mayo.

Numero Uno

I’ve continued to get a lot of calls about some strange injury in rice – chewing at the base of plants, digging/tunnels in the soil, and declining stands. After lots of head scratching, research, and some conversations in the halls of the “ivory tower” with my colleagues, we finally started to put it together. All signs pointed to sugarcane beetle. A new Ph.D. student, Karen Nix, and I headed to the field in Jefferson-Davis Parish to scout with County Agent Barrett Courville and Crop Consultant Benet Augustin. I told Benet he’s going to get a prize for finding the most odd insects this season. I’m certain he’d rather do without that recognition…

The first thing Benet had described in this field was a reduction in stand in hybrid rice treated with CruiserMaxx.  Cruiser had been used because of historical problems with chinch bugs in this particular rice field.

Stand loss in a hybrid rice field treated with CruiserMaxx - injury caused by sugarcane beetle adults feeding on crown of plant.

As we walked into the field, it was not difficult to find plants with soil disturbed at the base of the plant.

Soil disturbed at base of plant by a sugarcane beetle adult digging.

We dug around the base of the plant and in many places were able to quickly locate a large black beetle.

Sugarcane beetle adult with injured rice plant.

The sugarcane beetles are injuring the rice by chewing at the soil line in the crown of the plant. Some of the plants are dead or dying, while others may still recover by tillering.

Injury caused by a sugarcane beetle chewing on the base of the plant.

I called Dr. Tara Smith (Sweet Potato Extension Specialist and Entomologist) to learn more about sugarcane beetle biology. Tara studied this insect for her dissertation research. The symptoms we are seeing in rice are very similar to what you will find in field corn (where the sugarcane beetle is causing some injury in Arkansas this season). I discussed treatment options with Tara. She confirmed that Thiomethoxam (the active ingredient in CruiserMaxx) does not have good activity against this insect.

Treatment recommendations are tied to the biology and behavior of the insect. Sugarcane beetles overwinter as adults, and then move into field crops and attack plants at the soil line. During this time of year, they will be flying, mating and laying eggs. Flying usually occurs from dusk to 10 pm. Thus, we advised treating with a pyrethroid sometime around dusk to increase the odds of insecticide coming into contact with the beetles – a spray applied during the day would probably be less effective because the beetles are down in the soil. Alternatively, bringing a permanent flood as soon as possible should also prevent further injury. In this field, the rice is not ready for a permanent flood.

I’ve never observed these insects in rice, and apparently, they are a rare problem. Is anybody else finding these in rice fields?

Numero dos

We moved on to another field after we confirmed the sugarcane beetle problem. This field was suspected to be infested with colaspis larvae. This was a field of hybrid rice which did not have an insecticide seed treatment applied. It was drilled into a stale-seedbed, which was planted in soybeans in 2010. Sure enough, we found a severe infestation of colaspis larvae that was reducing the stand.

Stand loss caused by colaspis larvae feeding on the roots of rice plants.

It was not difficult to find colaspis feeding in the soil anywhere from 1/2 inch to 3 inches below the soil line.

Colaspis larva on root of rice plant.

It’s easy to see how these little larva can inflict injury on the roots of a rice plant when you look at the large size of their chewing mouthparts (mandibles).

Head-on view of a colaspis larva - the dark brown structures are the mandibles which are used to chew up plant material.

We advised applying a permanent flood as soon as possible. Also recommended using a pyrethroid to prevent injury from rice water weevils – weevil scarring on the leaves was common in the field. The pyrethoid will not have a significant effect on the colaspis larvae, but the larvae will stop injuring the rice after application of permanent flood.
 
Numero trece y quatro 
 
While scouting the colaspis infested field we found a couple of other insects feeding on the rice. This included chinch bugs and a mystery insect.

Chinch bug nymph feeding at base of a rice seedling. This injury can cause stunting and plant death.

Application of a permanent flood will also stop the injury from chinch bugs, because they will no longer be able to feed on the growing point of the plant once it is protected by the flood water.
Mystery insect on roots of rice plant – note the ants that are “tending” them.
This was the first time I’d come across these creatures. These mystery insects looked like some type of plant feeder – possibly a homopteran. It didn’t look like they were causing any injury, but it was a curiousity that I couldn’t miss photographing. Unfortunately, my pictures were a little blurry. I’m working on an identification today.
  
Numero cinco
 
The last field we scouted was a field of hybrid rice that was water-seeded. The stand was marginal and the rice was dying. We suspect that a variety of factors may have contributed to the plant injury, one being excessive rice water weevil adult scarring. The field did not have any insecticide seed treatment (because it was water-seeded). It is bordered by a crawfish field, so options are limited. We will see how it progresses.

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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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