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Today we planted a Horizon Ag Strip Trial at the Lawson Farm in Crowley, La.  At first, we weren’t sure if the soil was dry enough, and there was also a light crust on the soil.

Rain the previous week had left a crust on the soil.

The soil did not want to close over the drill passes - went to plan b.

We were not happy with this drill row appearance - seed is not adequately covered.

After breaking the crust with a harrow, we were able to drill the seed.

Lightly and quickly running a harrow before the drill broke up the crust enough to allow closure of the drill rows.

This test will compare CruiserMaxx and Dermacor X-100 to an untreated check.

Treated seed receives a dye - on the left is CruiserMaxx treated seed and on the right is untreated seed.

We will be looking for colaspis activity in addition to rww efficacy.  A number of clearfield varieties were planted.

In a nearby field, we will compare a variety of seeding rates with CruiserMaxx treatment.  This will help us answer some of the questions about CruiserMaxx activity at lower seeding rates. RWW core samples will be taken 4 weeks after permanent flood to assess insecticide activity.

There is nothing like the appearance of straight, newly planted drill rows. I was impressed by the driving – no GPS used here!

We will be closely watching these two fields for first emergence of seedlings.  Previous research in Arkansas has found that Cruiser treated seed emerges more quickly than untreated seed.  Also, the first two weeks after emergence are a critical time to monitor for damage from colapsis larvae.

I anticipate that we will be planting all over the place next week – if it doesn’t rain Saturday.  The instructions are to pray for NO RAIN.  Tomorrow morning we plan to plant in St. Landry Parish.

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This morning I met County Agent Barrett Courville at the Acadia Parish Extension office.  Barrett grabbed his rubber boots and we headed out to meet with Mr. Rustin Gilder at the Hoffpauir farm.

County Agent Barrett Courville and Mr. Rustin Gilder discussing the rww demo at the Hoffpauir farm.

The Hoffpauir farm is located in southwest Rayne, LA.  The fields we will studying this season, are on the north side of the field road from the fields we evaluated in 2009.  This makes a unique opportunity to look at the weevil population over time.  This season we will compare CruiserMaxx, Dermacor X-100, pyrethroid to an untreated check.  We pulled up some of the field stakes from last season and I saw a nice little black and yellow snake – boy that will wake you up!

In Crowley, just south of I-10 we met with (left to right) Mr. Charlie Harmon, Barrett Courville, Jude Bellard, and Doug Leonards.

After wrapping up at the Hoffpauir farm, we headed over to meet with Crop Consultant Doug Leonards, and Farmers Charlie Harmon and Jude Ohlenforst.  Doug had identified some colaspis damage in a rice field just north of this series of fields that were planted in soybeans in 2009.  Doug scouted the bean field for colaspis adults and sent us samples throughout the season.  This year, the field will be planted into rice.  We decided to have a ten acre section treated with CruiserMaxx within this approximately 80 acre field.  If the colaspis cause a reduction in stand, we will be able to compare the untreated seedlings to those grown from CruiserMaxx treated seed.  We’ll also be noting date of first emergence, stand count, and plant height.  If there is a reduction in stand in the untreated area, we’ll pull cores before flood to see if we find colaspis larvae on the roots.

The Lawson family (left to right) Larry, Alan, and Colin with County Agent Barrett Courville in Crowley, LA.

Our final stop was to visit with the Lawson family about a test we will be putting out with Michael Fruge (Horizon Ag) and Steven Thevis (G&H).  I was delighted to meet three generations of current (and future) farmers.  Colin told me that he wants to be a farmer when he grows up, but his dad said that he needs to go to college first.  Well, he’s comfortable running around rice fields already.

At the Lawson farm, we will be putting out a test comparing CruiserMaxx to Dermacor and an untreated check.  Alan is fairly certain that he suffered some stand loss from colaspis larvae damaging roots in a nearby rice field.  The field we will work in this year was planted in beans, the stubble was plowed in the fall, then water was held until December when the land was water-leveled.  Water was held until late January, so for a period of about 3 months in total.  It will be interesting to see if colaspis have survived those conditions.

While we were standing in the field Alan walked around and picked up some debri.  It is odd to find that in a prepared rice field that is set-back from the road.  Alan pointed to a row of Oak trees where the leaves were all removed.

The oak trees in the middle of this break that have leaves removed, mark the path of a tornado that destroyed 10 homes, and narrowly passed the Lawson home.

These trees mark the path of a tornado that passed through this rice field on Christmas Eve, 2009.  10 homes were destroyed, and Alan witnessed the tornado picking up and throwing debris at his house.  Debri was strewn across the rice field as well.  Amazingly, no one was injured.  I don’t think the tornado would have effected the colaspis, we can only hope…

The weather was perfect today – this rice field was firm enough to walk on.  If the weather holds, a lot of rice will be planted in the next week.  The first rice was water-planted in Jeff-Davis Parish last Friday.

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