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.

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.

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