Rice Pathology

bacterial panicle blightjpg

Bacterial Panicle Blight

rotten neck blastjpg

Rotten Neck Blast

sheath blight leafJPG

Sheath Blight

Rice diseases pose a major threat to rice production. The four major diseases, sheath blight, blast, bacterial panicle blight and Cercospora, cause significant yield and quality reductions that cost farmers millions of dollars each year. The objective of the Rice Pathology Project is to develop an integrated disease management program that effectively and economically reduces rice diseases. Disease resistance is the best control, but it is not available or breaks down after a variety has been released and requires constant efforts to improve and maintain. Cultural control can reduce disease development, but reducing inputs can also limit yield. As a result, rice farmers often rely on fungicides to control diseases, but these tend to be expensive and occasionally ineffective.

Experiments are conducted at the LSU AgCenter’s H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station and in off-station sites. Disease resistance of rice varieties and breeding lines is evaluated in inoculated and naturally infested plots. Cultural management practices are evaluated for their effect on disease development. Fungicides are evaluated for effectiveness in controlling diseases, and application technologies are evaluated to improve fungicide effectiveness.

Several varieties have been identified with multiple resistances, including several recently released LSU AgCenter varieties. Reactions to multiple diseases are reported in the publication Rice Varieties and Management Tips. Effects of planting rates, timing, nitrogen rate and other cultural practices have also been determined. Three new highly effective fungicides have been labeled in the last eight years partially on data developed by this project, and application technology that greatly improves these fungicides’ efficacy has been developed.

Donald E. Groth, Project Leader-Professor/Research Coordinator, H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station
Carl Dischler, Research Associate
Laura Monte, Research Farm Specialist

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture