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The Mexican rice borer (MRB) has now been found near Lake Charles, LA.  This link will take you to an LSU AgCenter press release that provides the latest update: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/news_archive/2011/may/headline_news/Mexican-rice-borer-advances-in-La.htm

Fortunately, LSU AgCenter Professor Gene Reagan has conducted intensive research on this pest for the past ten years, and we are prepared with management options in hand and ready to use as needed.  He has provided an Agent training in Texas for a number of years.  Following is a link to a blog posting about the most recent site visit.  Within the blog you will find a link to the handout, which contains information on recent management recommendations:

https://louisianariceinsects.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/lsu-agcenter-mexican-rice-borer-site-visit-beaumont-tx/

It is important that you learn to identify this pest, and distinguish it from other borers that can be found in rice or cane. You can study up on the pest by downloading these two LSU AgCenter numbered pubs:

This publication includes images of SCB and MRB for comparison:

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/communications/publications/Publications+Catalog/Crops+and+Livestock/Rice/Rice+Pests+of+Louisiana.htm

This publication provides images of MRB:

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/communications/publications/Publications+Catalog/Crops+and+Livestock/Rice/Mexican+Rice+Borer+Identification+Card.htm

Following is a Louisiana Agriculture article that includes the latest information on MRB research that has been generated by Dr. Reagan’s lab:

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/communications/publications/agmag/Archive/2010/fall/Advanced-Management-Research-and-the-Mexican-Rice-Borer.htm

In sugarcane, there are a number of recommended management practices to prevent injury from MRB.

In rice, the seed treatment Dermacor X-100 should provide control of this pest. Pyrethroids can also be used, but timing of application is critical. It is necessary to detect an infestation when larvae are still feeding in the sheath area. Once the larvae penetrate the stem, pyrethroid insecticides will not provide acceptable control because they are not able to come into contact with the larva.

If you find a larvae in rice or cane and suspect that it is MRB, please call me and we can arrange to pick up the sample.

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This week I’ll be traveling out to southwest Louisiana for a couple of meetings.  Tuesday night is the annual Louisiana rice council and Louisiana rice growers association meeting at the International Rice Festival Building (717 W. Mill St. in Crowley, La).  The evening will begin at 5 pm.  I am looking forward to catching up with everyone at the meeting.  Also hope to learn more about economics from the keynote speaker, Jim Wiesemeyer, VP, Informa Economics, Washington Bureau.

After the meeting I’ll head to Lake Charles for the Louisiana Agricultural Aviation Annual Convention.  This meeting begins today and will run through lunch on Wednesday.  It’s being held at L’auberge du lac Casino in Lake Charles.  Wednesday morning I’ll give a presentation about the rice water weevil demonstration.

I hope your week is starting off well – the weather certainly is beautiful!

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