Farmers see more ways to fight pests

Frances Gould, Schultz, Bruce  |  10/2/2013 11:50:33 PM

Bryce Blackman, a doctoral student, encloses a rice panicle as part of a research project to determine the amount of rice a stink bug can damage. Blackman is working with LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Mike Stout on a study of the current threshold for stink bugs on rice in Louisiana and whether it should be increased, as it has been in other states.

Photo By: LSU AgCenter

Farmers continue to benefit from the work of LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Mike Stout each time they see more ways of fighting insect pests.

This year, the use of Tenchu to fight stink bugs was approved. Fortunately, however, few farmers had the need for the chemical in 2012, and Stout said he’s not sure if it will be approved for use in 2013.

"The number of stink bugs was really low this year," Stout said. "We’re not sure why because there are so many variables that can come into play."

The LSU AgCenter entomologist also is continuing work on a project to determine if the threshold for stink bugs should be changed. Stout said threshold numbers in Arkansas and Texas have been raised, and it’s likely the ongoing research will result in an increase for Louisiana.
Farmers have two new chemicals to fight rice water weevils – the seed treatment Nipsit Inside and the foliar spray Belay. Stout said Belay offers two advantages over foliar pyrethroid products (Karate, Mustang Max, etc.). It has longer residual, and it has a lower toxicity on nontarget animals.

The approval of Dermacor in 2012 for water-seeded rice provides more options at planting time, Stout said.

He also said breeding efforts started in 2012, crossing the variety Jefferson, with moderate resistance to rice water weevils, with Cocodrie, a variety that is susceptible to weevils.

Stout said work is being done to see if Dermacor is effective against the sugarcane borer in rice.
"There may be some carry-over against the Mexican rice borer, too," he said, adding that the Mexican rice borer continues its eastward spread.

"The numbers in Calcasieu Parish are definitely higher," Stout said. He said as many as 200 adults have been found in some traps over a two-week period, and he said he visited one rice field that had 2-3 percent white heads as the result of Mexican rice borer damage.

(This article was published in the 2013 Louisiana Rice Research Board Annual Report.)

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Please click on the links above to go to the Rice Research Board Reports home page, to go to the 2012 report, and to go to the PDF version of the 2013 report.

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