Expert says hot summer nights could pose problems for rice

John K. Saichuk, Schultz, Bruce, Linscombe, Steven D.

News Release Distributed 07/17/09

RAYVILLE – Hot summer nights could cause problems for rice pollination, according to the LSU AgCenter’s rice specialist.

While speaking Wednesday (July 15) at the Northeast Louisiana Rice and Soybean Field Day, Dr. Johnny Saichuk said nighttime temperatures that do not fall below 80 degrees could affect the viability of pollen.

Saichuk said pollination usually occurs between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., but stormy weather also poses another potential issue, since it could interfere with the process.

The LSU AgCenter expert said the lack of grain filling on the lower portions of a panicle suggest pollination problems occurred.

Saichuk said planting and harvesting of this year’s rice crop appear to have been spread across a larger window. Some Louisiana rice farmers already are starting to harvest, he said, but other calls he’s received indicate some have just planted recently.

He said disease, especially sheath blight, is starting to show up in the northern portion of the state’s rice-growing areas.

On the other hand, stinkbugs are not as plentiful this year, he said, adding that probably is the result of hot weather.

Saichuk said some farmers have more problems with weeds this year because they weren’t ready to flood their fields quickly, and herbicides are not effective when sprayed on dry soil.

“When you don’t have levees, and you can’t flush, you are handicapping yourself,” he said.

Dr. Steve Linscombe, LSU AgCenter rice breeder and regional director for southwestern Louisiana, told farmers that cereal producer Kellogg’s is pleased with the medium-grain variety Jupiter, which was developed by the LSU AgCenter.

He said the latest LSU AgCenter medium-grain, Neptune, has not been given approval by Kellogg’s yet, because the company was unable to obtain enough of the rice last year for testing.

“I have not seen any red flags where they would not approve Neptune,” Linscombe added, however.

Linscombe said Dr. Brooks Blanche, also a rice breeder at the LSU AgCenter’s Rice Research Station at Crowley, is working on a medium-grain line that could have a yield advantage over Neptune and Jupiter.

In other news at the field day, Dr. Bill Williams advised farmers to consider a fall burndown using glyphosate to tackle alligator weed. He said applications the last two weeks of September usually provide good control.

Williams said crop damage from glyphosate drift is becoming more common. He said crop oil, or surfactant, can increase the likelihood of drift, and applications made when no wind is present can lead to herbicides being trapped in the air in a temperature inversion.

Dr. Ron Levy, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist, said he expects to see decreased yields this year on the state’s soybean crop because of a drought. Beans grown without irrigation didn’t get moisture for several weeks.

“They’ve lost that month of growth,” he said.

Levy said populations of red-banded stinkbugs seem to have increased, and corn earworms are moving from corn fields that have been harvested into soybeans, he said.


Johnny Saichuk at 337-788-7547 or
Steve Linscombe at 337-788-7531 or
Bruce Schultz at 337-788-8821 or

7/17/2009 8:41:49 PM
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