Arkansas Rice: Scout Closely For Armyworms – In Corn, Too
We have observed several fields and had reports across the state that armyworms are moving into rice from adjoining wheat fields and fields being burned down with herbicide in preparation for planting.
In the latter case these are fields that had considerable winter grass, poa annua, in them.
In many cases when found, the person may think that because no worms are seen that the armyworms are gone. This is NOT necessarily the case. During the day armyworms go into hiding.
If you will flip some clods you may be surprised at how many armyworms can hide under a 50 cent piece-sized clod of dirt. So don’t be caught thinking the armyworms are gone and the damage is done. Remember, armyworms are active at night and unless its a cloudy day will stay hidden until evening.
In most cases the rice will grow back with little or no damage but in severe cases if the rice is eaten below the growing point it will not survive. If treatment is warranted try to wait as late in the day as possible to spray. Pyrethroids are photo labile, breakdown in sunlight, so late in the day will help maintain activity when the armyworms come out at night. Pyrethroids are the product of choice, so consult the MP-144 for selection and rates or contact your local county agent.
The most important thing is to get out there and check your rice and corn fields, particularly the ones with wheat fields or fields burned down with herbicide near by for armyworms moving in on you.