In this article:
|Louisiana Rice Research Board Annual Report 2019|
|Rice Research Projects for 2019|
|Expecting change, we prepare for the future|
|2018 Louisiana rice acreage by parish|
|Increases in rice acreage, yields suppress prices|
|After two tough years, 2018 rice crop 'good but not great'|
|DNA testing leads to more efficient rice research|
|Scientists continue researching Amistar Top fungicide|
|Puerto Rico winter nursery valuable resource for La. rice breeding|
|Farmers, researchers react positively to new Provisia rice|
|New insect treatments, applications researched|
|Row rice tested on three farms in north La.|
|LSU AgCenter-developed high-protein rice on grocery shelves|
|Soil-borne fungi AMF benefits tested|
|Improvements at research station funded by free trade agreement|
|Jasmonic acid shows promise as seed treatment in water weevil fight|
|Alternate wetting and drying, other irrigation methods studied|
|Researchers study effect of fertilizers on new rice varieties|
|Federal official visits research station|
Change is inevitable in life, and so it is with the Louisiana Rice Research Board. Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed eight new members to the 15-member board, which consists of 14 producer members and the commissioner of agriculture or his designee.
Increased rice acreage and yields in 2018 have suppressed prices, according to an LSU AgCenter economist who says that trend is expected to continue.
“Production was up for all rice by 23 percent,” said Michael Deliberto.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Louisiana’s average yield in 2017 increased from 6,710 pounds an acre to 7,000 pounds — still below the 7,600-pound record set in 2013.
After two challenging years, most Louisiana rice farmers had a good crop in 2018.
“Good but not great,” is how Don Groth, resident coordinator of the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station, described the 2018 crop.
Genetic marker technology is leading to a more efficient process for developing new varieties.
Recently, the technology was used at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station near Crowley to find a new gene for Cercospora resistance.
Amistar Top, a new fungicide, made its debut in 2018 with mixed reviews.
The winter nursery in Puerto Rico continues to help save time in the development of new rice options for farmers, researchers say.
In the spring of 2018, more than 400 experimental rows were selected and harvested in Puerto Rico and immediately planted into plots for yield testing at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station near Crowley.
In 2018, farmers grew Provisia rice commercially for the first time, and the reaction to the technology’s weed-control capability was positive.
Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter weed scientist, said Provisia’s weed control proved effective on grasses and weedy rice that could not be controlled before.
Insect research under Blake Wilson, an LSU AgCenter entomologist, continued in 2018 with several ongoing projects. Wilson said insecticide trials were conducted on new seed and foliar treatments.
LSU AgCenter researchers are developing best management practices for growing row rice in north Louisiana.
Three on-farm sites were used in the study, the Jason Waller farm in Morehouse Parish, the Darrell and Donnie VandeVen farm in Tensas Parish and the Elliot Colvin farm in Richland Parish.
A high-protein rice variety developed by LSU AgCenter rice researcher Ida Wenefrida is being grown for commercial production in southern Illinois.
Wenefrida said she first had the idea of a high-protein rice when considering the nutritional possibility of using grain to help people improve their diet with more protein.
For her doctoral dissertation, Lina Bernaola, a graduate student in the LSU Department of Entomology, has been studying whether arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can help rice plants with insect resistance and improved rice growth.
Ongoing improvements at the LSU AgCenter H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station are aimed at modernizing the facility and maintaining its global prominence in the study of rice propagation.
All the improvements are funded with money from the Colombian Free Trade Agreement that was earmarked for research.
For the first time a researcher tested a field-scale rice seed treatment of jasmonic acid for its potential to impart resistance against insect pests.
“It looks like it’s going to be an asset for water seeding and organic growers,” said Emily Kraus, who studied the use of jasmonic acid for her doctoral dissertation.
LSU AgCenter researcher Manoch Kongchum is studying nitrogen-use efficiency and yield for rice grown under three different irrigation protocols.
In the study Kongchum is comparing conventional delayed flooding with two other methods — alternate wetting and drying and semi-aerobic conditions.
The agronomy project under Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter rice extension specialist, is an all-encompassing series of studies aimed at improving production efficiency and increasing yields.
“We’re looking at nitrogen fertilizer requirements and optimum plant populations for soon-to-be-released varieties and hybrids,” Harrell said. “This information is extremely important, so producers will know how to manage newly released varieties.”
Anne Idsal, regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, visited the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station in March to learn about the challenges faced by rice farmers.