Posts Tagged ‘texas’

I am currently touring across the southeastern US rice production area as a member of the 23rd USA Rice Leadership Development Program class. This is the first of four sessions we will complete over the next two years. I’m enjoying the time with my fellow classmates who hail from across the US rice production regions.


USA Rice Leadership 2012 Class (from left to right) Timothy Gertson from Texas, Rance Daniels from Missouri, Brian Barrett from California, Clint Roth from Arkansas, Brice Lauppe from California, myself and Noble Guedon from Mississippi and Louisiana.

We all met in Houston on Sunday (April 1) and our first day of tours began on April 2. The first morning was spent learning about the structure of the US Rice Federation and international rice trade. The USA Rice Federation contains four units that represent producers, millers, suppliers and consumers of rice:

  1. USA Rice Council – promotion of US rice
  2. USA Rice Producers Group – the farmer’s advocate
  3. USA Rice Millers Association – representing rice millers
  4. USA Rice Merchants Association – rough and seed rice merchandiser

The Rice Leadership Development program is administered by The Rice Foundation, an organization dedicated to rice industry research and education.

About 85% of US rice acreage is represented by the USA Rice Federation, while the other 15% is represented by the US Rice Producers Association. The Vision of the USA Rice Federation is to be the driving force of a profitable and unified US rice industry.
After we learned about the structure and purpose of the Federation, Bill Farmer spoke about US rice exports to Canada, Asia and Mexico. Mexico is a growing export market for US rice. Cooking demonstrations and TV shows are used to promote rice consumption in Mexico. After Mr. Farmer’s comments, we learned about the rice brokerage business from Michael Creed, of Creed Rice. You can visit riceonline.com to learn more about rice trading and the Creed Rice Report.
 In this photo: Brice Lauppe and Noble Guedon discussing rice trading with Michael Creed.
In the afternoon, we toured the Anheuser-Busch plant in Houston, TX. One of the Brewer’s led our tour, which focused primarily on the brewing process. Anheuser-Busch is the largest domestic consumer of US grown rice. Rice is a key ingredient in many Budweiser products.
In this picture – Tim Gerston and Chuck Wilson (USA Rice Federation) discussing grain deliveries with a brewer.
One of the most interesting things about the tour was the sights and smells. If you’ve ever brewed beer then you’ll be familiar with a lot of terms like wort, hops, and sparge – all terms that apply to specific phases of beer production. The mechanical processes used to produce beer on a commercial scale are remarkable. One thing I did not know is that the Lager is held in “Chips” tanks for a period of time before bottling. These tanks contain beech chips and are a traditional final step in beer brewing used by Anheuser (see photo below).
On our second day in Texas, we struck out bright and early to visit the headquarters of Riviana Foods in Houston. The Riviana brand originated in Louisiana and the name is derived from a combination of “river” and “Louisiana”. Riviana has developed into a $1.2 billion corporation that is currently owned by Ebro Foods, a Spanish company. They distribute and market a variety of rice products as indicated in the photo below.
Riviana and private label make up 50% of the US rice market. Riviana sells about 25 pounds of rice per second. While Mahatma is their no. 1 brand of rice, they are seeing great growth in the aromatic rice sector. During the presentation by their marketing director, Paul Galvani, we spent a lot of time discussing the increasing demand for ready-to-serve rice products.
During our trip across Texas, we also visited the US Rice Producers Association, Hlavinka equipment, the Gerston Farm in Libbey, Texas, and Rice Belt Warehouse. The conversation in Texas focused on water issues. Due to water shortages, about 70,000 rice acres will not be planted in Texas this year. The TX acreage reduction will impact farmers, but also millers, seed merchandisers, equipment dealers and other supporting industries.
Linda Raun met us at the Hvalinka Equipment Company. Mrs. Raun is a Texas rice farmer, graduate of the Leadership Progam, and current Chair of the USA Rice Producers Group. She traveled with us to the Gertson farm and spent time discussing the history of rice production in Texas.
In this picture: Chuck Wilson, Linda Raun and Mr. Gerston (Texas rice farmer).
The Gertson’s have an impressive amount of diversification on their farm which includes a rice and cattle rotation, machine shop, precision farming equipment, and a flying service.
On our second day in Texas, we visited Doguet’s rice mill and RiceTec before we crossed the Sabine into Louisiana. I’ll pause for now and tell you more about our visit to RiceTec in my next post. If you want to follow us real time – follow the hashtag #usarice23 in twitter. You can also follow my tweets @NatHummel.

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Update: The section 18 has been amended to reflect LSU AgCenter treatment thresholds. Read on for more information.

A Section 18 request has been approved by EPA for the use of Tenchu 20SG on up to 50,000 acres of Louisiana rice. This product will provide an alternative mode of action to the pyrethroids that are currently registered for use in Louisiana. The exemption expires October 31, 2011. The distributor in Louisiana is Mr. Michael Hensgens with G&H in Crowley. According to Mr. Hensgens, the suggested retail price is $24.30 lb at ½#per acre = $12.15/ac.

Rate and restrictions: Please contact your local County Agent for a copy of the Section 18 registration before using this product. Remember that the label is the law! The registered rate is from 7.5 to 10.5 oz of product per acre. A maximum of two applications can be made per acre per season. A seven day pre-harvest interval must be observed. Be aware that this product is toxic to honeybees – read attached documents for precautions to avoid bee injury.

Treatment threshold:We do not recommend treating until you exceed the recommended thresholds as described in the Section 18 label. To scout for rice stink bugs in the field, use a 15-inch diameter sweep net, take 10 sweeps at 10 different areas around each field. Count the number of bugs collected after every 10 sweeps and then treat if they exceed the threshold as described in LSU AgCenter Publication 2270. During the first two weeks of heading, treat when there are 30 or more stink bugs per 100 sweeps. From the dough stage until 2 weeks before harvest, treat fields when there are 100 stink bugs per 100 sweeps.

Before we consider applying for an emergency exemption next field season (should we feel it is warranted) we need to gather some specific data. We need your assistance gathering this information.

1. Resistance. Please notify us if you believe that you have a stinkbug population that is resistant to pyrethoids. We will gather insect samples to run laboratory bioassays.

2. Efficacy. If you use Tenchu 20SG we would appreciate any data you gather on residual efficacy of the product. Data from Texas has indicated that it provides a longer window of activity than pyrethoids. This will potential result in a reduction of the number of insecticide applications to a field in one season. We will be conducting efficacy trials in Louisiana to measure residual efficacy when compared to pyrethoids. If you’d like to participate in a field demo, please contact your local County Agent and they can work with me to make arrangements.

3. Milling. We also need your assistance in gathering data on milling quality of rice. Specifically, we need more data on reductions taken at the mill in the form of peck and broken grains which is attributed to Rice stink bug feeding injury. Rice harvest has already begun in some portions of southwest Louisiana. I will be posting a survey in the next month to gather more data about milling.

Please contact me if you need additional information.

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LSU AgCenter press release

Distributed 12/14/10

 The Mexican rice borer, a threat to sugarcane and rice, has moved eastward from Texas extending farther into Louisiana 

The insect was first found in Louisiana in December 2008 north of Vinton.

On Nov. 22, 2010, four male adults were found in a pheromone trap about six miles southwest of Sulphur, according to Gene Reagan, LSU AgCenter entomologist. Chris Carlton, director of the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, confirmed that these trap catches were Mexican rice borers.

“This trap location is adjacent to a grassy area where no crops are grown, and it is within 15 to 18 miles of commercial sugarcane fields south of Lake Charles,” Reagan said.

Reagan’s graduate student, Julien Beuzelin, said the traps are set out by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. “Without their work, it would have not been possible to detect this insect’s movement,” Beuzelin said.

He said the LDAF had planned to end the monitoring program in early December, but after the Nov. 22 samples were found, the department has decided to continue the program into the spring.

Beuzelin said the discovery is a reliable indicator that the pest is continuing to move eastward in Louisiana.

“Since first being found in south Texas in 1980, they have consistently expanded their range along the Gulf Coast,” Beuzelin said.

In 2006, the Mexican rice borer was found in east Texas just one county away from Louisiana, and it was anticipated that it would be found in Louisiana in 2008. Only two weeks before the end of 2008, borers showed up in two pheromone traps five miles apart on the Louisiana-Texas line north of Vinton.

A 2007 study by LSU and Texas A&M projected an annual $45 million loss of revenue for Louisiana rice farmers once the entire state is infested.

The estimated damage for sugarcane is projected at up to $220 million in the next few years. Mexican rice borers are not obvious pests in rice until the crop is in the boot stage. But by the time it is found within rice plants, Reagan said, studies with Texas colleagues show that the population jumps rapidly. Reagan said that prompted the question to arise regarding the pest’s overwintering habitat.

Between growing seasons, the insect is found in high numbers in grasses such as Johnsongrass and vaseygrass.

Once the insect bores into sugarcane, insecticides don’t work well because the cavity created by the borer is filled with chewed plant material, frass, blocking a chemical’s entry, he said.

Insecticides work better on the pest in rice, Reagan said. However, three applications may be required in some east Texas areas. 

A new seed treatment, Dermacor, appears to help control the pest in rice. Originally, Dermacor was developed as a seed treatment for drill-seeded rice against the rice water weevil.

# # #

Contact: Gene Reagan at 225-578-1827 or treagan@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Bruce Schultz at 337-788-8821 or bschultz@agcenter.lsu.edu

To learn more about Mexican Rice Borer you can visit: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/communications/publications/Publications+Catalog/Crops+and+Livestock/Insect+and+Disease+Control/rice/Mexican+Rice+Borer+Identification+Card.htm.

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I’m passing along this important news release to you.  I’ll be attending the National Conservation Systems rice and cotton conference in Baton Rouge next year.  I hope to see you at the conference.

Dr. Donald Groth Presents Enhanced Breakout Session

Rice Blast- World’s Most Important Rice Disease

Dr. Donald Groth, Research Coordinator, Rice Research Station, LSU AgCenter, will be presenting an enhanced breakout session on rice blast at the upcoming 14th Annual National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Feb. 1-2, 2011.

According to John LaRose, Steering Committee Chairman, rice blast is the most important rice disease in the world and warrants growerʼs attention. “Dr. Groth attended the Fifth International Rice Blast Conference hosted by the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture and the USDAʼs Dale Bumpers Rice Research Center recently in Little Rock, Arkansas. The worldʼs top rice scientists gathered to share their research. Dr. Groth will bring the information back to growers.”

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) reports; in India, more than 266,000 tons of rice were lost, 0.8 percent of their total yield. In Japan, rice blast can infect over two million acres. In the Philippines many rice fields suffer more than 50 percent yield losses.

The University of Arkansas reported during last yearʼs rainy summer in Arkansas, some fields suffered yields losses up to 80 percent. “It is the second year in a row for a blast disease epidemic in the region, which produces about half of the rice grown in the United States. Yield losses were minimal in 2009 due to effective management by farmers,” said Professor Rick Cartwright, a Division of Agriculture plant pathologist based in Little Rock. “After the widespread damage in so many fields last year, and with our increasing tendency to plant rice after rice and use no-till systems, itʼs not surprising that we are having a lot of leaf blast already this year,” said Cartwright.

“During the 1980ʼs through 2000ʼs, blast and seedling diseases were among the most important diseases in Texas,” stated The Texas A&M University System. “A shift from long-term to short-term rotations of rice production tends to increase inoculums of pathogens, resulting in more severe rice diseases and more yield losses.”

Groth explained rice blast management is based on a combination of host resistance, cultural management and fungicide application. “These management practices are not effective unless the grower knows the basic pathogen biological information and have an understanding of how the disease develops.”

Factors favoring the disease include: presence of the blast spores in the air throughout the year, upland rice environment, cloudy skies, frequent rain, and drizzles, high nitrogen levels, high relative humidity, wet leaves and growing rice in aerobic soil in wetlands where drought stress is prevalent according to IRRI.

Grothʼs presentation at the 14th Annual National Conservation Systems Cotton & Rice Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Feb. 1-2, 2011 will feature biological, epidemiological, environmental and cultural information. “Water management, field selection, fertilization and fungicide time are critical for control,” said Groth.

For conference registration or more details visit; www.mafg.net.

News Release

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I’ve had a few calls about grasshoppers in rice – particularly in the south-central Louisiana.  I called Mo Way (Texas rice extension entomologist) to discuss this with him.  I know they had some trouble with grasshoppers in Texas earlier this season.  As Mo said this is an odd year, so we are seeing some out of the ordinary insect problems.  Here’s a little information about grasshoppers.     

Possible damage: Grasshoppers can cause defoliation, but unless you exceed 20% defoliation of rice that is actively growing and past the boot stage, then we would not generally recommend a treatment.  Grasshoppers can also feed on grains as they develop in the panicle and this can cause blanking as grains mature – you might see a white, empty hull on a panicle.  The grasshoppers cause this damage by feeding near the bract at the base of the grain.  This damage is usually not severe enough to warrant a treatment.    

Long-horned grasshopper adult - this insect could damage the rice, or actually help out by eating rice stink bugs.

Beneficial insect: Long-horned grasshoppers in particular (bright green with long antennae) are omnivores – they will feed on vegetation and also other insects.  In some cases they can help to manage your rice stink bug infestation by eating the rice stink bugs.     

Recommendation: We do not recommend applying an insecticide for grasshoppers unless you are certain they are causing enough of a reduction in yield to cover the cost of a spray.  It is possible that a pyrethroid application for rice stink bug or stem borer will also control grasshoppers.    

Please contact your local county agent, or me, if you have a severe infestation of grasshoppers and you feel it is causing damage to your rice.

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