Posts Tagged ‘jeff-davis parish’

The Southwest Louisiana Rice and Soybean Forum will be held at the Welsh Community Center on January 3, 2012. Here is the program for the forum. For more information please contact county agent Barrett Courville: bcourville@agcenter.lsu.edu

8:00 a.m.  Welcome – Allen Hogan

8:05 a.m. – 8:25 Rice Production Practices for 2012 – Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter Rice Specialist

8:25 – 8:45 Rice Variety Update – Dr. Steve Linscombe, LSU AgCenter Rice Breeder

8:45 – 9:00 Rice Weed Management – Dr. Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter Weed Scientist

9:00 – 9:15 Rice Disease Management – Dr. Don Groth, LSU AgCenter Plant Pathologist

9:15 – 9:30 Rice Fertility – Dr. Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter Agronomist

9:30 – 9:45 Rice Insect Management – Dr. Natalie Hummel, LSU AgCenter Entomologist

9:45 – 10:00 Rice and Soybean Market Update – Dr. Kurt Guidry, LSU AgCenter Economist

10:00 -10:15 Refreshment Break

10:15 – 10:35 Soybean Varieties & Management Practice – Dr. Ronald Levy, LSU AgCenter Soybean Specialist

10:35 – 10:55 Soybean Insect Control and Seed Treatments – Dr. Jeff Davis, LSU AgCenter Entomologist

10:55 – 11:10 SPCC Update – Mr. Russ Green

11:10 – 11:25 LARPC and Rice Referendum – Mr. Kevin Berken

11:25 – 11:30 Soybean Demonstrations – Allen Hogan

11:30 -12:00 WPS, Drift Control and Private Pesticide Recertification – Allen Hogan and Barrett Courville

12:00 Lunch – Donors

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The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry reported that Mexican rice borer (MRB) male moths have now been collected in pheromone traps in Jeff Davis Parish. These traps were positioned near Iowa, Thornwell, and just south of Welsh. The list of parishes infested with MRB now includes Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu and Jeff Davis. So far larvae were confirmed only in Calcasieu parish west of Lake Charles. If you grow or scout cane or rice in any of these infested parishes I strongly urge you to spend time this winter studying the biology and management of the MRB. If you find a larvae or moth that resembles the MRB in rice, cane or other grasses, please get it to your local County Agent for confirmation of identification.

We have created a variety of resources to help in your training about the MRB.

LSU AgCenter scientists prepared a website: Early Management Considerations for Mexican Rice Borer in Louisiana Rice: Click here to read the article. Within the website you will find links to the MRB identification card and field notes and blog postings about the MRB.

We conducted an entomology training at the LSU AgCenter rice research station in Crowley on Sept 13, 2011. The MRB was the primary topic discussed at the training. The powerpoint files are posted at www.lsuagcenter.comClick here to open the website.

The speakers were also video recorded. Here are the video links. Click on the link to open the file.

·         Part 1

·         Part 2

If you have trouble opening any of these links or you need more information on MRB, please contact me. The MRB will be a topic of discussion at the LSU AgCenter winter production meetings.

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I knew my phone was too quiet last week…

Today I’ve have four calls about insect problems in rice. Yesterday I ran the battery down on my phone between phone calls, e-mails and tweeting field observations. Which reminds me, if you are using twitter, you are welcome to follow me @NatHummel for field updates.

These dry conditions are exacerbating problems in drilled rice, which in many cases is dry, dry, dry. We need some rain. The wind is not helping the situation. One consultant, who has decades of experience in rice, called today to tell me he would appreciate more training in identification of uncommon insect problems – namely aphids, thrips and chinch bugs. As we shift away from water-seeded to drill-seeded rice these insects have the potential to become more common pest problems. It looks like that might be happening this year.

This blog posting will focus on many of those “secondary pests” which we happened to observe in Evangeline Parish yesterday. Before I get to that, just a quick update on what is becoming the chinch bug situation.

In Jeff-Davis Parish I have now heard of four additional locations which suffered from infestations of chinch bugs. This brings the count to about 8 to 10 sites with chinch bugs infestations. Some had been treated with Dermacor X-100, but remember Dermacor will not control chinch bugs. CruiserMaxx and NipsitInside should provide control (refer to previous postings about difference in seed treatments for more details). It has been noted that drilled hybrid rice, planted at low seeding rates, needs to be carefully scouted for chinch bugs. This is true primarily because in a field with a low seeding rate, the number of plants per acre is substantially lower than in field planted at a conventional seeding rate. When an insect (such as chinch bugs) infests a field with few plants to begin with, they can cause substantially more injury more quickly than in a field with a thicker stand.

Chinch bugs can be difficult to scout because they have a habit of hiding in cracks during the heat of the day and also because they often feed at the soil line near the base of the plant. This injury caused by feeding on the heart of the rice plant is what causes the rice to throw a red or orange leaf and eventually die from injury. To treat an infestation it is best to apply a flood or flush water across the field and then follow with a pyrethroid insecticide – this strategy drives the insects up onto the plant allowing them to be exposed to the insecticide.

You can click on the pictures to make them larger.

In Evangeline Parish we found a few chinch bugs feeding on the plants.

Chinch bug near base of rice plant.

 We also found a mating pair of chinch bugs on the soil surface between the rows.  Just to illustrate how difficult these can be to scout, can you find the chinch bugs in this picture?

Chinch bug mating pair on the soil surface.

 As I was taking pictures, they shifted position – here is a close-up.

Chinch bug mating pair.

After mating, chinch bugs will deposit eggs, from which first instar nymphs will hatch. We did see some first-instar chinch bugs near the base of the plant.  The first instars look very different from older stages – are very small and bright orange in color.  Here is a composite picture from my files for your reference – these pictures were taken in Jeff-Davis Parish a couple of years back.


Yesterday, Anna and I took stand data at the Evangeline Parish Demo test site.  Here is the field map. (I’m in the process of building LSU AgCenter websites for each of the test sites, but suddenly time at my desk is precious and rare). The field is located between Ville Platte and Vidrine at these GPS coordinates: 30°41’42.66″N, 92°24’23.80″W. The plots are flagged with colored flagging according to treatment.

The variety XL745 was planted at a 25 pound/acre seeding rate on March 21, 2011.  First emergence was noted on April 5, 2011. Yesterday, we visited the site two weeks after emergence to take observations on the stand. At this location we are comparing the three seed treatments (CruiserMaxx, Dermacor X-100 and NipsitInside) to an untreated check.

In general, there does not appear to be a significant difference between treatments, but the untreated cuts do not look quite as vigorous.  We will wait to summarize all the stand count data from all sites before making definitive statements about any effect of seed treatments on the stand vigor. Following is a series of field shots comparing the treated strips.


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

Plants grown from NipsitInside treated seed to the left and Dermacor X-100 treated seed to the right.Plants grown from untreated seed (fungicide only) to the left and NipsitInside treated seed to the right.

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

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

Plants grown from CruiserMaxx treated seed to the left and NipsitInside treated seed to the left.

Plants grown from untreated seed to the left and CruiserMaxx treated seed to the right.

As we walked across the field site we noticed many fire ants and also parasitoid wasps, which led us to believe there must have been some insects in the field that these predators/parasitoids were consuming.  Sure enough, after some searching we started to find aphids, thrips and chinch bugs.  None are present at levels that are causing noticeable injury in the plots, but we will certainly keep an eye on the populations.


Fire ants foraging in the Evangeline Parish test site field.

In this situation, the fire ants are helping us by eating some of the insects that are attacking the rice – including aphids, thrips, and possibly chinch bugs. Of course, they also took a couple of bites out of me  as I was attempting to take picture in the windy conditions at the field. 

Fire ant foraging for insects infesting a rice plant - in this case, it looked like it was searching for thrips.


Thrip on a datasheet after it hopped off a rice plant. The datasheet is printed in 10 pt font, so you can see the miniscule size of the thrip adult.

Thrip adult on a rice plant leaf blade - we commonly found them on the blade or in the leaf sheath area. It appeared that feeding injury was causing discoloration on the sheath, but this was not confirmed.


We found a few aphids on some of the plants. It is likely that populations would be higher if they were not being attacked by ladybugs.

Ladybugs were also present in the field eating the aphids.

 The herbicides had not gone out yet, they will probably go out today, and so we took a few moments to enjoy a sweet gift of nature – wild blackberries on the edge of the field.

Anna picking blackberries during lunch break – ah the sweet rewards of field work…

Tomorrow we will make some site visits in Jeff-Davis where possible colaspis injury has been reported. In the afternoon, we will head to St. Landry Parish to take stand counts at our demonstration site.

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On Wednesday, I scouted a field with a consultant in Jeff-Davis Parish.  He has recommended treatment for fall armyworm (FAW) in a number of fields in the Jeff-Davis and Allen Parish area.  I have also had reports of damage from Evangeline and Vermilion Parish.    

A rice field suffering from an infestation of fall armyworm caterpillars.


 If your rice was treated with Dermacor X-100, it should be safe from damage.  Otherwise, it would be wise to monitor closely for this pest.  This problem is compounded by the hot and dry weather conditions – which drive the armyworms into lush, green rice fields.  The consultant said he has now started to recommend a shot of Karate with the first application of newpath to control this pest.  This pyrethroid application is too early for weevil management (unless you have excessive adult feeding), so they’ll have to go back with one or two more applications to control rice water weevil adults later in the season when they apply permanent flood.  You can also use malathion to control FAW caterpillars in rice.  The rate should be adjusted based on the size of the caterpillars, as I discussed in a previous post.   

Cattle egrets grazing on fall armyworm caterpillars in rice.


 One clue that armyworms might be in your field is an abundance of cattle egrets – commonly referred to as “white birds”.  These birds are attracted to the field to eat the armyworms.    

I noticed that some of the FAW larvae in the field were parasitized by a wasp (eggs on the back of the larva).    

Eggs on back of FAW are deposited by a wasp. The wasp larvae will hatch and then consume the caterpillar. Unfortunately, insecticides will kill the beneficial insects and the pest.


 We stopped and watched the behavior for a while and it was stunning to see how quickly they can strip a leaf blade off a rice plant.  I can see how they can nearly defoliate a field in a short period of time.     

FAW systematically defoliating a rice plant. Notice the distinct Y-shaped pattern on the head.


  You can easily locate FAW larvae by sweeping in an unflooded field.   

Crop consultant Mr. Augustine prefers to use a sweep net to sample for FAW caterpillars in rice. FAW caterpillars in a sweep net. Notice the wide variation in color.


 We noticed a wide range of caterpillar color patterns.  This is pretty common with fall armyworms.  

FAW caterpillars in a sweep net - notice the variation in color.

I’m working on some diagrams that show you how to tell the species apart.  I will post when they are prepared.  I am curious to see which strain of FAW is infesting the rice.  There are two strains – the corn and the rice strain.  I’m rearing some of these caterpillars to the adult stage and will let you know what we find.

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After wrapping up at the Hoffpauir farm, Barrett and I headed over to Jeff-Davis Parish to take stand counts at the demonstration that Mark Pousson has planted.  The rice is coming along nicely.  At this location, the seed treatments are planted side-by-side in the same cut.  This allows us to easily observe any differences in plant height, vigor, or stand thickness between treatments.  As we were taking stand counts, Barrett observed that if you stood on the edge of the field you could easily see a difference between the untreated seed and the CruiserMaxx treated seed.  I took a few pictures.

Rows of rice grown from untreated seed (no insecticide treatment) in comparison to CruiserMaxx treated seed. The rows are much more visible in the CruiserMaxx treated area.

In the picture above, the untreated area is to the left of the center, while the CruiserMaxx treated plants are to the right.  We don’t know if this will translate to a difference in yield, but it is interesting to note the difference in plant vigor in the early season.

While walking through the field, we also noticed some interesting clusters of eggs.

Egg mass in the water.

Barrett held the egg mass in his hand for a closer look.

I’m not sure if these are frog eggs, but that’s what they look like.  This is a nice reminder of the important job that rice fields serve as a home for a variety of wildlife.  It’s a great working environment for a weekend naturalist.

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