Farmers, researchers react positively to new Provisia rice

Bruce Schultz, Gould, Frances I.  |  12/7/2018 5:54:25 PM

Weed2_John Sonnier in the red rice plotjpg

John Sonnier, an LSU AgCenter research farm specialist, harvests red rice seed to be planted in studies of different herbicides.
The red rice plot is at the South Farm of the Rice Research Station in a remote corner to prevent unintentionally introducing
red rice to research plots.


In 2018, farmers grew Provisia rice commercially for the first time, and the reaction to the technology’s weed-control capability was positive.

“I think people were real pleased,” said Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter weed scientist. “Yields met or exceeded expectations.”

Webster said Provisia’s weed control proved effective on grasses and weedy rice that could not be controlled before.

“If I had a difficult-to-control grass, I wouldn’t hesitate to use Provisia,” he said.

Webster is continuing to study the use of crop oils and adjuvants with the Provisia herbicide. He said he obtained a proprietary crop oil called Dash, which is no longer available in the U.S., that helps to reduce antagonism when Provisia is mixed with some herbicides.

“However, it is not a silver bullet for reducing antagonism from all herbicide tank-mix options,” Webster said.

Tests conducted in 2018 showed that a tank mix of Provisia with ammonium sulfate causes the herbicide to work more slowly. Loyant herbicide caused some injury on rice, but the biggest problems were reported in Texas on hybrid rice, Webster said.

Loyant requires moisture to be effective, he said. The 2018 growing season started cool and damp but turned hot and dry suddenly.

The herbicide was less effective than expected on grasses, he said, but it worked well on broadleaf and aquatic weeds.

Loyant doesn’t seem to volatilize after spraying, according to Webster, but it will drift offsite because of wind or temperature inversions.

Gambit herbicide is proving to be a good burndown herbicide at the optimal rate of 1.5 ounces per acre. It has good activity on sesbania, eclipta and sedges.

“I like it post-emergence on alligatorweed,” Webster said.

Webster said benzobicyclon could be labeled and available for use on rice in Louisiana in 2019. California producers were able to use it in 2018, and Webster said it showed excellent results on aquatic weeds and worked especially well on ducksalad.

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