Greetings from Louisiana rice country! This year, the blog will concentrate research conducted at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station, in addition to showing the progress of a 6-acre field of rice planted March 19 to produce foundation seed. We encourage your comments and thoughts to help improve this online tool. If you would like a photograph of a particular piece of equipment or a better explanation of a process, let us know.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fungicide applied on Durel Romaine's field

Durel Romaine’s field featured in this blog was sprayed Thursday with Stratego fungicide upon the recommendation of Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist.

Saichuk said this week’s visit to the field turned up more disease than the previous week, including blast, sheath blight and cercospera.

He said the heads were just starting to emerge from the boot. Although fungicide was optional, Saichuk said, “this field is too good not to protect it.”

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fungicide application

The blog field at the Rice Research Station received a preventive dose of fungicide this morning. The photo above, taken by Dr. Steve Linscombe, shows the application by airplane.
Dr. Don Groth, LSU AgCenter pathologist, said Stratego was applied to prevent problems with blast, cercospera and sheath blight.“Stratego is a good broad spectrum fungicide,” Groth said. Disease is present at the water line of the rice plants, he said, but it is being suppressed by hot, dry weather. If frequent rains began, he said, a disease outbreak would be likely and rice plants in the heading stage are more susceptible to disease.
The rice plant heads are just starting to emerg. Groth said it’s possible that the field could do without fungicide, but Groth said the material was used to insure that the foundation seed produced in this field is of the highest quality possible.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Disease pressure light so far

Dr. Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, shown in the photo above, was pleased Wednesday morning to find that blast disease was not widespread in Durel Romaine’s verification field. Saichuk found blast in the field last week but he said the dry weather has probably suppressed the disease’s increase.
The photo of Saichuk shows him with a tool made of PVC pipe that can be used to push rice plants aside to check for disease on the lower portions of the plants. He found a few instances of blast Wednesday, such as the one photographed below.

“We know disease is here in this field and all we’re doing is watching the progression to time the fungicide application,” he said.
He plans to recommend the fungicide Gem, if it’s available or Quadris in the alternative.
Saichuk said most of the rice plants have half-inch panicles.
Another field of CL151, near Romaine’s, is heavily infested with sheath blight, he said. Saichuk said that disease problem has probably been worsened by the dense plant population. In that case, he said, a higher percentage of emergence is not desirable because the disease prefers moist, damp environments that are more hospitable for fungal diseases.
Meanwhile, the blog field at the LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station continues to progress well with panicles almost 3 inches long.
Larry White, director of the station’s foundation seed program, said disease pressure is light but the fungicide Stratego will probably be applied early next week.
White said he is pumping water onto the field every 3 or 4 days because of the dry weather. No rain has been recorded at the station since May 25.