by AgFax Media LLC, AgFax.com
South American rice miners are making a noticeable showing in parts of Louisiana. See comments by Dustin Harrell and Johnny Saichuk.
Grape colaspis damage has become quite evident in some Arkansas fields.
More Midsouth rice is either going to flood or will be next week. Midseason applications are starting on more of the older rice. Hot weather has made a noticeable difference in how rice looks.
So far, reports of disease have been minor and scattered.
Johnny Saichuk, Consulting Agronomist, Ducks Unlimited, South Louisiana: "I'm getting reports of some blast in Clearfield 272 and have collected samples. The thinking is that this might be a resistant reaction to the disease rather than an out-and-out susceptibility to blast. We'll see.
"The crop is really ragged looking in places. Stands are uneven, with a lot of variation through fields. Until we get consistent sunshine, those differences will remain very obvious. We need a dry June with abundant sunshine to bring this crop along.
"Unfortunately, conditions so far look a whole lot like what we had at this same point last year. This year's crop may have started off better than last year's but we've still had way too much cloud cover. That was the case in 2015, too.
"I'm seeing more nutrient deficiencies than anything else. In particular, nitrogen deficiency is evident in some fields that received the correct amount of N. I'm contributing that to poor growing conditions. Between all the rain and overcast weather, plants couldn't take up nitrogen at a normal rate and then those fields lost some nitrogen that was going unused.
"A dealer rep called about what turned out to be South American rice miners (SARM). Initially, he thought it was drift damage but then suspected it was damage from our more common leaf miner. But this appears to be due to SARM. That rice is in Jeff Davis Parish.
"With the regular leaf miners, its larvae stay in the leaves but with SARM they get down into the whorl and hit the growing point. Once you see symptoms, there's not much you can do. A pyrethroid might have a little effect, but it would still be difficult for it to reach the insect.
"We're also picking up Mexican rice borers in Cameron Parish and I've gotten reports of them in Jeff Davis Parish, as well. What I saw today (6/9) were light infestations. I don't think any of the affected fields had a Dermacor seed treatment."
Dustin Harrell, Louisiana Rice Extension Specialist, LSU Rice Research Station, Crowley: "Rice in southwest Louisiana seems to be moving along quite well and a little more is starting to head, with most of the rest in the late boot stage. One or two minor instances of leaf blast have been reported and sheath blight have turned up in a couple of cases. Overall, though, disease has been really light in rice so far.
"I'm fielding calls about South American rice miners (SARM) and it seems to be widespread this year, not just in isolated pockets. In most years it's a minor pest, but this year it's catching a lot of attention. It feeds in the whorl and gives rice a ragged look when the leaf emerges. Nothing can be done about it, which is why you really hate to see it in a field. It has some effect on yield but usually it's not dramatic.
"In north Louisiana more rice is near the point to put on the flood. Some of the very earliest rice up there has already gone to flood but the bulk of the crop will be at or near that point next week.
"A reminder: we'll have a rice and soybean field day next Wednesday (6/15) in Acadia Parish. Among other things, you'll get to see how weed control stacks up with some new herbicides that are in the pipeline now."