Almost all summer long everyone had been hoping for rain. Well sure enough when it is time for harvest we have been getting rain almost every day. The next few days also look like the rain percentages will be pretty high and they are talking of a possible depression in the gulf. We sure could use a couple of weeks of no rain now. Hopefully, the weather will clear up and we can get back to harvest. The few people who have been able to get started have been satisfied with their yields. I have heard from 40 to the upper 60’s on some fields. I did hear of some lower yields in the 20’s on some rice that was affected with salt water. Overall, I think the crop looks really good and I hope the high yields will continue.
I wanted to update everyone on the two verification fields that I work with. The Jupiter field in Cameron parish with Paul Johnson was drained on July 17. The field still looks good and we never did reach threshold on stink bugs. I am still worried that the yields will be off somewhat on this field since we have been using salt water. The Jupiter field in Allen parish with Ben Leonards will be drained this weekend. It looks really good at this time. I will send out an email on these yields later.
The picture below is of the panicle and sheath lesions of a rice plant with Sheath Rot. This picture is from the rice disease brochure that we distribute. Benet Augustine brought in some plants that were showing the symptoms of Sheath Rot. I sent the plants to Dr. Groth and he confirmed that it was indeed Sheath Rot. I would have included the pictures of the plant here but I did not have my camera with me and forgot to get some photos of his plants. Sheath Rot is caused by the fungus Sarocladium oryzae. Symptoms are most severe on the uppermost leaf sheaths that enclose the young panicle during the boot stage. Lesions are oblong or irregularly oval spots with gray or light brown centers and a dark reddish-brown diffuse margin. Early or severe infections may affect the panicle so that it only partially emerges. The unemerged portion of the panicle rots, with florets turning red-brown to dark brown. A powdery white growth consisting of spores and hyphae of the pathogen is usually observed on the inside of affected leaves. Insect or mite damage to the boot or leaf sheaths increases the damage from this disease. Emerged panicles may be damaged, with florets discolored reddish-brown to dark brown and grain not filling.
Some varietal resistance is available. The disease is usually minor, affecting scattered tillers in a field and plants along the levee. Occasionally, large areas of a field may have significant damage. No control measures are currently recommended. Fungicidal sprays used in a general disease control program may reduce damage.