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This article was originally published in Louisiana Farm and Ranch, February 2012. I’m reposting it here for your information. This is an important article to read as growers are making their decision about insecticide seed treatments in rice for the 2012 season.

Authors: Natalie Hummel, Associate Professor and Assistant to the Director & Mike Stout, Professor

We have had quite a few inquiries about using a combination of seed treatments, neonicotinoid and Dermacor X-100, in rice. While this practice is legal, using more than one seed treatment is not a practice that we encourage in most circumstances because it results in more insecticide use in rice production than may be necessary.

The rice industry is considering one of these combinations of seed treatments: 1) Dermacor X-100 and CruiserMaxx or 2) Dermacor X-100 and NipsitINSIDE. Typically, a combination of seed treatments is only being considered when planting rice at low seeding rates, primarily because of concerns about the lack of efficacy of CruiserMaxx and NipsitINSIDE at hybrid seeding rates (25 lbs/acre or less) that we have observed in our rice water weevil demonstration trials and small plot trials. The second scenario is where Dermacor X-100 is being used for rice water weevil management and there is a history of stand reduction because of a sporadic pest infestation, usually chinch bugs or armyworms. Combining seed treatments provides a benefit of protecting the crop from injury by some primary and sporadic crop pests.

As the rice industry moves toward a more sustainable crop production profile, the LSU AgCenter strongly encourages rice producers to be good stewards of these insecticide seed treatments. Stewardship of these seed treatments means avoiding the use of insecticides not needed in the crop. For this reason, we discourage the widespread use of a combination of insecticide seed treatments in rice. We instead encourage the person making the seed treatment decision to consider the spectrum of pests that each insecticide can control, the seeding rate, and the history of crop pests in that field.

It is important to remember that each of the seed treatments controls a different group of insects. Dermacor X-100 belongs to a class of insecticides called anthranilic diamides, which target a specific receptor in the muscle of the insect. Dermacor X-100 is registered to control rice water weevil larvae, borers (Mexican rice borer, Rice stalk borer, Sugarcane borer), armyworms and colaspis (2ee registration for suppression). CruiserMaxx and NipsitINSIDE are both neonicotinoid insecticides that affect the nervous system of target insects. CruiserMaxx is labeled to control rice water weevils (larvae and adults), chinch bugs, colaspis and thrips. NipsitINSIDE is labeled to control rice water weevils and colaspis. We do not have data to support the ability of CruiserMaxx or NipsitINSIDE to control chinch bugs, colaspis or thrips in Louisiana, but we anticipate that they will control these pests based on observations from other crops and from rice in other parts of the world. As you study these seed treatments, you can see how a combination of these products can control most of the insects that attack rice in Louisiana. This is part of the reason why there is an inclination toward using a combination of treatments.

Here are criteria for you to consider as you make your seed treatment decision. The first is the seeding rate. This needs to be considered because neonicotinoids don’t always provide good control of rice water weevils at low seeding rates. Dermacor X-100 does provide control of rice water weevils at all seeding rates, but it will not control chinch bugs or thrips. According to the chemical manufacturers, neonicotinoids do control other early season pests including chinch bugs, thrips and colaspis. Another challenge at low seeding rates is that the plant stand is thin and is less tolerant to any insects that reduce the stand by killing seedlings. Insects that can reduce the plant stand count include armyworms, chinch bugs, colaspis and thrips. Borers can infest fields after the plant is at the green ring growth stage and reduce yields by causing deadhearts and whiteheads. Remember that if you put out a combination of seed treatments for a sporadic pest and that pest doesn’t infest your field, then you didn’t need to use a combination of seed treatments. We have data that indicate that rice water weevils infest more than 90% of rice fields in Louisiana. This justifies the use of a seed treatment to control rice water weevils as part of a good IPM program. That is not the case for many of our sporadic pests (armyworms, chinch bugs, colaspis, borers, etc.), which rarely occur at levels that justify treatment. Also, keep in mind that we rarely recommend an insecticide treatment for thrips in rice; usually the damage is not severe enough to require an insecticide.

Here are a couple of situations where a combination of seed treatments may be a good management decision. If you are planting rice at a low seeding rate and you anticipate that you will have an infestation of chinch bugs that would justify a pyrethroid treatment, then a combination of seed treatments would be a good option. In this situation, you would be using Dermacor X-100 to control rice water weevils, borers and armyworms and adding a neonicotinoid to control chinch bugs or thrips. Also, if you are planting rice at conventional seeding rates and you are using a neonicotinoid seed treatment to control rice water weevils and colaspis, but you typically have problems with armyworms or borers, then you may want to apply Dermacor X-100 to your seed.

There is one more thing to consider as you make your seed treatment decisions for the 2012 season. The EPA recently approved a Section 24C (special local need) registration for use of Dermacor X-100 in water-seeded rice. If you are interested in this option, a certified seed treater can provide more information. Remember that you CANNOT use the other seed treatments (CruiserMaxx or NipsitINSIDE) in water-seeded rice. The use of CruiserMaxx and NipsitINSIDE in water-seeded rice is illegal and will not provide control of the target pests.

If you have any questions about the seed treatment options registered for use in rice, please contact your local County Agent, or Natalie Hummel (nhummel@agcenter.lsu.edu) for more information.

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This article is reprinted from the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station newsletter.

Authors: Natalie Hummel and Michael Stout

Rice farmers in Louisiana who use seed treatments to manage insect pests in their fields have a choice of seed treatments in 2011: Dermacor™ X-100 (DuPont Crop Protection) and  CruiserMaxx® (Syngenta).  In addition, Valent has requested an experimental use permit (EUP) for NipsitInside seed treatment, an insecticidal seed treatment alternative similar to thiamethoxam.  If approved, NipsitInside will be used on a limited number of acres in Louisiana in 2011 and will potentially be available on a wider scale in 2012.  Although these three insecticidal seed treatments are similar in many respects, they also differ in key ways.  Understanding the similarities and differences between the two seed treatments is crucial to making the right insecticide choice for each rice field.

The key pest targeted by CruiserMaxx, Dermacor X-100, and NipsitInside is the rice water weevil, the most important early season insect pest of rice in Louisiana.  Dermacor X-100 has been evaluated against the rice water weevil in multiple small-plot tests over many years at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station in Crowley, and in addition has been used commercially in Louisiana the past three growing seasons.  Dermacor X-100 provides excellent control of rice water weevil larvae; in commercial fields, weevil populations were typically reduced by 90-95% compared to fields not treated for weevils.  CruiserMaxx has also been evaluated in multiple small-plot trials over the past several years at the Rice Research Station, and it too provides good control of rice water weevil larvae, although, in side-by-side comparisons of Dermacor X-100 and CruiserMaxx conducted in small plot trials at the Rice Research Station, control of weevil larvae given by CruiserMaxx is generally not as good as control given by Dermacor X-100.  In rice water weevil demonstration tests in commercial fields in 2010, we found that Dermacor X-100 provided the best level of weevil control, followed by pyrethroid (Karate pre, Karate pre + mustangMax on fertilizer post, or Karate post) and CruiserMaxx.  Dermacor X-100 provided significantly better control than the other two treatments.  There was no significant difference in weevil control between the pyrethroid and the CruiserMaxx seed treatment.  Unfortunately, the results from hybrid test plots (25 pound seeding rate) in 2010 did not provide any more clarity about the ability of CruiserMaxx to provide effective weevil control at the low seeding rates.  We plan to repeat the demonstration test again next season, particularly focusing on the low seeding rate question.  Small plot replicated research that may also clarify the question of effectiveness of CruiserMaxx at low seeding rates will also be conducted.  

Probably the most important difference between the three seed treatments is their activity against secondary pests.  Because these chemicals belong to different chemical classes (the active ingredient in Dermacor X-100 is a type of anthranilic diamide, whereas CruiserMaxx and NipsitInside are neonicotinoids), they are effective against different pests.  CruiserMaxx and NipsitInside will probably provide better control of colaspis larvae (present in a few fields in southwest Louisiana in 2009 and 2010) than will Dermacor X-100, and will also provide good early-season control of sucking insects such as aphids, thrips and chinch bugs.  Dermacor X-100, on the other hand, should provide excellent control of early-season Lepidopteran pests such as fall armwyorms.  Recent evidence from both Louisiana and Texas indicate that Dermacor X-100 provides protection against stem-boring insects.  Evidence from Texas also indicates that Dermacor X-100 may help control South American Rice Miner in rice.  The spectrum of pests controlled by each of these seed treatments is probably the most important consideration in choosing between the three.  As a related consideration, CruiserMaxx is marketed as part of a seed treatment “package” (CruiserMaxx® Rice) that includes fungicides that may help control seedling diseases and rice blast.

There are also similarities and differences in the agronomic practices that are used with each of these seed treatments.  Importantly, the use of both seed treatments is restricted to dry-seeded (drill-seeded or dry broadcast) rice; neither product can be used in water-seeded rice.  Also, the per-seed application rate of CruiserMaxx will not change with rice seeding rate, unlike Dermacor X-100, for which application rate is adjusted for seeding rate.  This may make CruiserMaxx easier to use, but it should be noted that the use of CruiserMaxx at very low seeding rates (for example, seeding rates typically used for hybrid rice varieties) has not always provided acceptable control in tests conducted by LSU AgCenter.  Details on the use patterns for NipsitInside are not known yet.

The expected availability of three seed treatments for insect control in rice, along with other available products for insect control (Karate, Mustang Max, and the other pyrethroids), gives Louisiana farmers a wide range of options for managing their insect pests in drill-seeded rice.  Unfortunately, there are not as many choices in water-seeded rice, and expanding the range of options for insect management in water-seeded rice is a continuing focus of research for the Entomology program.  

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I received this announcement in an e-mail today.  Please spread the word and encourage any agricultural students to apply.

March 1, 2010

To:      Department heads & Directors, LSU College of Agriculture

From:  Steve Henning

Re:      Student Essay Contest Sponsored By Syngenta and the Farm Press

I am asking for your help in spreading the word on a great opportunity for both our undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Agriculture.

Syngenta Crop Protection and the Farm Press are jointly sponsoring an essay contest with two categories – one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students.  The prizes in this contest are substantial.  The Grand prize in each category is $6,000.  The second place award in each category is $4,000.

The contest is limited to students at southern universities with accredited agriculture programs. The attached pdf file can be forwarded to students or they can go to the contest website at http://www.farmassist.com/promo/fosa/index.html.

To enter, the students need to submit a 750-1,000 word essay on the following topic:

Farmers are under constant pressure to produce more food, feed and fiber with fewer resources. A prime example of a precious resource that continues to diminish in supply in some areas is water. The droughts of recent years and increased demand for water have forced some Southern producers and the industry in general to increase focus on conservation and sustainability. Describe how the Southern farmer and the agricultural industry as a whole can more effectively manage water usage in growing and processing food, feed and fiber. Who (growers, government regulatory agencies, commodity organizations, seed companies, others?) will motivate these changes and how?

The deadline for submitting an essay is Thursday, April 15, 2010.  Please pass the information on to both your undergraduate and graduate students (pass this email on to your graduate coordinators for distribution).  Feel free to forward this email and attachment to any eligible student.  Complete details are on the website.  Submission of the essay is also through the website.

For interested students, there is also an accompanying Facebook site at I Care About the Future of Southern Ag

Thanks!

Steven A. Henning

Dr. Steven A. Henning

Associate Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator

Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness, LSU

124 Agricultural Administration Building

Baton Rouge, LA 70803-5604

shenning@lsu.edu

Ph: 225-578-2718 Fax: 225-578-2716

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