With Mid-South rice planting nearing completion, growers are turning their attention to flooding fields and monitoring for insect pests and diseases. Here’s a roundup of what’s happening in the region’s rice fields.


Sheath blight or not?

“Correct disease identification is important since several rice diseases and disorders look like sheath blight or blast," says Don Groth of the LSU Rice Research Station. In his 2014 Rice Disease Newsletter No. 7, Groth provides photographs to help identify sheath blight and leaf blight from other diseases.

Arkansas’ DD50 program changes

Some changes have been made to the online DD50 program for rice this year. Access the DD50 program for 2014.

Louisiana: rice water weevils

Lousiana rice farmers should be prepared to deal with their worst insect pest, the rice water weevil, says LSU AgCenter entomologist Mike Stout. Many fields are being flooded, and that is the trigger for weevils to start laying eggs on the young rice plants. After hatching, the weevil larvae then feed on the rice plant roots. Stout says the cold winter and spring delayed the weevil emergence, but they have appeared as the temperatures have risen. “They’re out in good numbers now,” he says. Watch for rice weevils with warmer weather.

MSU scientists change rice stink bug advice

Mississippi rice producers may need to intensify their treatment of the most important late-season pest in rice based on new recommendations from researchers at the Delta Research and Extension Center. Jeff Gore, Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist, conducts research with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. He said past recommendations for rice stink bug treatment were based on a time frame rather than a growth stage. Get up-to-date on the new recommendations.

Crop injury

Injury to the Arkansas rice crop was common last week and it wasn’t pretty. Most of the rice fields have a couple of things in common – planted in late April to early May, and plants are short or stunted. Height reduction seems due to PRE herbicides, cold temps, and heavy rain. All of these things together seem to have resulted in unhealthy rice plants that don’t seem to be capable of overcoming adverse conditions and seedling diseases when they normally should, say Arkansas Extension specialists. In the May 23 Arkansas Rice Update they describe the problems and what growers can do to help their crops along.

Armyworms in Mississippi rice

Similar to most years when there are armyworms in wheat, there is the threat of having armyworms in seedling rice. At least one rice field in Mississippi that was sprayed early last week. In general, say Mississippi State University specialists and researchers, damage from armyworms will not impact rice yields at this time of year unless they are beginning to reduce plant stand. This is especially true in hybrid rice planted at low seeding rates. Armyworms in rice.