Texas Rice: Freeze Hits Ratoon; Endigo ZCX; China Rice

Longji rice terraces near Guilin, China, were constructed in the 1200-1300s AD by the Zhuang people. Photo: M.O. Way, Texas AgriLife

We had our earliest freeze since 1979 in the Texas Rice Belt on November 14! Yes, we even got some snow and sleet, but it is clear now and not quite freezing this morning of November 16.

This freeze/cold weather will probably end, for all intents and purposes, the growth of our ratoon crop which is relatively late this year. Yes, the entire 2018 growing season has been very challenging with a cool, wet spring and rainy summer and fall. I still don’t have reliable main or ratoon crop yields, but I hope to get some information soon.

Emergency Exemption for Rice Planthopper

I am currently working with TDA to obtain a Specific Emergency Exemption for Endigo ZCX for the rice planthopper for the 2019 growing season. This product contains a pyrethroid and a neonicotinoid insecticide,  both classes of insecticides are under scrutiny by USEPA.

Kevin Haack with TDA is working diligently to submit this request to USEPA. We should know the outcome before the 2019 rice growing season.

I also am in the process of sending seed of selected varieties to the Center for International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia where my colleague, Dr. Maribel Cruz, will screen these varieties for susceptibility to the rice planthopper. In addition, I have sent frozen specimens collected this year from Galveston Co. to my Weslaco colleague, Dr. Ismael Badillo-Vargas, who is going to perform molecular analyses on these specimens to determine if they harbor the hoja blanca virus.

China Visit

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I recently returned from a trip to Nanning, China. I was accompanied by my colleague and good friend, Dr. Don Groth Research Coordinator at the LSU Rice Research Station in Rayne, Louisiana.

We were asked to go on this trip by Dr. Steve Linscombe who was invited, but could not go. Basically, I was a sub! We were hosted by Dr. Weike Li who is a Hybrid Rice Breeder at the Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Nanning.

I gave a seminar on my entomology work here in Texas and also presented information on the arsenic issue in rice in the U.S. Dr. Dustin Harrell, Soil and Plant Scientist at the LSU Rice Station, provided the information I needed to talk about this issue—many thanks to Dustin! Basically, US rice is as safe, if not safer, than any other rice produced in the world.

At the end of the trip, Weike, Don and I traveled to the Longji Rice Terraces near Guilin, China. These rice terraces were constructed in 1200-1300 AD by the Zhuang people who, I was told, escaped to these remote mountains to avoid persecution by the ruling elite.


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