Arkansas Rice: 3 Hot Points This Week – Worms, Disease, Drift

Image from University of Missouri

Going into the week, here are 3 hot points to keep in mind in rice:


In north Arkansas, true armyworms are moving into some rice in the 2- to 4-leaf stage and eating it down to the soil line.

For a couple of years, Drs. Gus Lorenz and Nick Bateman have been looking at armyworm damage and defoliation, and they’ve found that yields fall 50% when rice at that stage is eaten down to the soil line. Yes, the majority of that rice will come back, but it has a great deal of catching up to do, hence a significant yield hit.

Applications of DAP or ammonium sulfate may or may not generate any actual yield improvement in the affected areas, although the applications could help the rice catch up with the rest of the field in terms of size.

Seedling Disease Pressure

Seedling disease is becoming more obvious with the warm, sunny conditions this week. Much of this affected rice was planted 5 to 6 weeks ago and the fungicide seed treatments have long since gone.

Now that growing conditions are improving, the healthy rice plants are taking off and the infected rice plants are drying out and dying off. The rice was already stricken but better weather has made the effect more obvious.

Take a close look in these situations. While seedling disease could be at play, we need to rule out other factors that could be responsible or involved, such as grape colaspis, salt or herbicide drift.

Herbicide Drift

Calls about drift injury – due to Roundup, Gramoxone, Sharpen, Newpath and such – are starting to crank up. Some of that rice will have to be replanted. In other cases, we may find a way to keep stands.

Accidents happen, but we need to do a better job taking care of everyone’s hard-earned stands.

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