Posts Tagged ‘insect’

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:


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


  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


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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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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If you reach way back in your memory, some of you may remember completing the 2009 Louisiana rice insects survey at one of the winter production meetings back in January or February of this year.  The surveys were distributed in Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi and Arkansas this year.  Anna and I have recently completed a summary of the responses and I’ll use this series of posts to provide an overview of a few observations.  Keep in mind that the trends reported in this posting relate to the 2009 production season, not the 2010 production season.  We will distribute a survey about the 2010 production season at the winter meetings in January.

Participants from the circled Louisiana parishes completed our survey.

184 survey sheets were processed from the following states: Louisiana (146), Texas (47), Missouri (5), Mississippi (2), and Arkansas (1).  In Louisiana, respondents from the following parishes completed surveys: Acadia, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Cameron, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Point Coupee, Rapides, Richland, St. Landry, and Vermilion (see map above).  

We would like to thank all rice industry members who participated in this survey and helped to distribute the survey sheets. This survey was supported in part by the Louisiana Rice Research Board and the Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Program.

My comments will mostly be confined to the Louisiana responses at this time.  The demographics of the participants in Louisiana was broken down as follows: rice farmers (79%), consultants (12%), dealers (7%), and others (10%, e.g. county agents, researchers, manufacturer representatives, marketing managers and land owners).  The length of time that repondents have been involved with rice production varied from less than five to more than forty years, with the greatest percentage (18%) with 26 to 30 years of experience.  Approximately 76% of the survey respondents farmed or consulted on less than 2500 acres of rice in the 2009 production season.

The first series of questions related to insect infestations which were severe enough to warrant an insecticide treatment.  92% of Louisiana respondents reported that they had some fields that required treatment for rice water weevils.  88% of the respondents reported problems with rice stink bugs.  While fewer people reported infestations of grasshoppers (24%), armyworms (24%), and chinch bugs (23%).  The next most commonly reported insects were the rice leafminer (12%), stalkborers (11%) and colaspis (11%).  Less than 10% of repsondents reported infestations of rice seed midge, aphids, rice levee bill bug, or south American rice miner that warranted an insecticide treatment. 

We asked more detailed questions about rice water weevil management strategies.  A large portion of our time is dedicated to rice water weevil management because this insect traditionally causes the most significant damage to Louisiana rice production from season to season.

In both the 2008 and the 2009 production season survey, we asked the following question:

If rice water weevils were a problem in your rice field(s), which method did you use to control or prevent a rice water weevil infestation? Note that respondents could choose more than one answer since they are completing a survey that relates to more than one production field.  That will explain why the total response does not equal 100%.

In 2008, among 163 respondents in Louisiana, the most common method used to control or prevent rice water weevil was drained field (43%).

In 2009 among 130 respondents in Louisiana, the most common method used to control or prevent rice water weevil was Dermacor X-100 seed treatment (52%).  In 2009, this was the only seed treatment available for use in rice.

Method used to control rice water weevil in Louisiana rice fields

2008 Percentage (%) 2009 Percentage (%)
Drained field 43 34
Post-flood treatment with a foliar spray of pyrethroid 39 44
Pre-flood treatment with a foliar spray of pyrethroid 36 37
Pre-flood treatment with a pyrethroid impregnated on fertilizer 21 22
Post-flood treatment with Trebon 20 10
Early planting to avoid infestation 18 31
Dermacor X-100 Seed Treatment 17 52
Pre-flood and Post-flood treatment with a pyrethroid 13 N/A
Delayed application of permanent flood 13 27
Pre-flood treatment with Trebon 9 7
Nothing 6 7















There was a decrease in the percentage of respondents who reported that they drained a field for weevil management while their was a substantial increase in the adoption of seed treatments and cultural practices (early planting and delayed application of permanent flood) which should result in decreased weevil injury.

The next installation in this series of blog posts will focus on questions related to rice stink bug management.  Do these observations reflect what you experienced in the 2009 or 2010 production seasons?

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