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Posts Tagged ‘Kenneth LaHaye’

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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It’s almost that time of year again.  Today Anna and I met with County Agent Keith Fontenot and Evangeline Parish farmer Kenneth LaHaye to discuss plans for the 2011 rice water weevil demonstration test.  Kent Guillory is the consultant who will assist with monitoring this test location.

Mr. Kenneth LaHaye, County Agent Keith Fontenot, and me discussing plans for the demo test in Evangeline Parish.

This will be the third year that we have worked with Kenneth (and his dog Harley) on a demo test site. We appreciate his continuing support of our on-farm demonstration program. The last two years we worked with Kenneth near Chicot Lake.  This year, our test site is located near Vidrine on La-10. We will provide directions to the field after planting.

Kenneth's dog Harley - she makes for great company in farm work.

In the 2011 rww demonstration test we will restrict our insecticides to the three different seed treatments that are now available on the market.  These will be compared to an untreated check.  The table below compares these products:

Kenneth will be planting RiceTec variety XL745 at a 25 pound per acre seeding rate.  The seed treatments will be arranged in two blocks, with one rep in each block.  Each rep will include two 20 ft drill passes.  We intend to plant sometime between March 12 and 15, if the weather cooperates.  Kenneth has already prepared the land for planting.   A herbicide burndown of 32 oz/acre generic roundup and 2 oz/acre Valor was applied in November, 2010.  When looking at the field we noticed some areas where his burndown did not provide control.

The weedy strips in the field are the result of tapping the boom and turning off an outside nozzle.

Kenneth asked us to post this picture to illustrate how effective a burndown put out in November can be. The missed passes in the field are the perfect example of what he could have been fighting as he prepared to plant, had he decided to wait until spring to apply his burndown.  Last season Kenneth grew soybeans in this field.  Rice will be drilled into the stale seedbed at around 25 pounds per acre.  This soybean-rice rotation can sometimes be conducive to injury from the colaspis beetle.  We’ll be sure to monitor for injury from this pest when we take stand counts two weeks after emergence.

(All photos taken by Anna Meszaros).

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When I woke up at 4 am yesterday I wasn’t feeling too well.  Things seemed to improve, so I decided to meet up with my Associate and head out to the field.  That was not the best idea.  Not a fun thing when the stomach flu gets you down.  I slept in the passenger seat most of the way to Ville Platte – did a quick interview with Avery Davidson (Louisiana Farm Bureau Report), clarified plot plans with County Agent Keith Fontenot and Rice Farmer Kenneth LaHaye, and then we headed back to Baton Rouge.  I slept most of the way back to Baton Rouge.  For those of you that know me, if I can sleep in the middle of the day, I’m really sick.  I’ve been in bed ever since.  This is not a good time of year to be sick, so I’m taking this slow and hope to be back at it tomorrow.  I thought you might like a quick update on what we did yesterday.  Thanks to the wonders of technology, I have pictures e-mailed from my Associate and Keith Fontenot.  

As I mentioned Avery Davidson met us for a This Week in Louisiana Agriculture (TWILA) story about the demonstration test.  Avery and I conducted a short interview at the field before I headed back to Baton Rouge.  

Mike Worthington (RiceTec) met us at the field to calibrate Kenneth’s new 42 ft John Deere air-assist drill.  

Kenneth's tractor and drill set-up (photo by Anna Meszaros).

 

I wish I had been able to be around to watch that sucker run.  It’s a memorable experience to hear them start up – it almost sounds like a plane talking off.  We had some final discussions about the treatment plan and then planting began. 

Kenneth LaHaye, Keith Fontenot, and Natalie Hummel discuss the treatment map for the rww demonstration site in Evangeline Parish (photo by Anna Meszaros).

Kenneth LaHaye, Keith Fontenot and Natalie Hummel discuss the treatment map (photo by Anna Meszaros).

 

Unfortunately, I missed this part, but Avery was able to ride along in the tractor and film the auto-steer features.  

Avery Davidson was in the tractor filming Kenneth LaHaye while the demo site was planted (photo by Keith Fontenot).

 

This equipment is incredibly accurate! 

This picture captures the auto-steer features - closing the gap between two planted areas (photo by Keith Fontenot).

 

At the LaHaye farm we are comparing untreated seed to the two seed treatments – Dermacor X-100 and CruiserMaxx.  These will be compared to a pyrethroid treatment.  The first application of Karate will go out with the second shot of Newpath immediately before flood.  1 week after permanent flood, we will scout for adults weevils &/or fresh feeding scars and make a decision about a second pyrethroid application.  Planting went well, now we will keep an eye out for first emergence of seedlings. 

Hybrid rice was planted at a 25 pound seeding rate at this test site.  This will be another nice comparison of CruiserMaxx and Dermacor X-100 at the low seeding rate. 

Today the Hoffpauir farm demonstration site in Acadia Parish is being planting.  Ok, back to bed for me.

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