Arkansas Rice: Stink Bugs, Billbugs and Disease – Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Rice Stink Bug

Insect Update

We are still seeing a healthy population of stink bugs in headed rice fields. Once fields start drying down, stink bugs will begin to concentrate on the late-planted rice. Those fields have the potential to see some large numbers of stink bugs, so keep an eye on them.

We looked at a lot of row rice this year and we can find billbug in about half of them. In some fields, the damage looks pretty significant, while in others it’s fairly sparse. In several trials, we’re evaluating the efficacy of seed treatments on them and when to time an insecticide application.

Sometimes, we find them buried up in the stem of a plant, but in other cases they are in the ground below the plant.

Disease Update

Sheath blight remains active but most of the earlier planted fields have outrun the disease. If you’ve made it to heading and the upper 2 to 3 leaves are still clean, then you’ve outrun sheath blight from a yield-limiting standpoint.

It can still blow out late and cause lodging in susceptible cultivars that are also known to lodge.

Blast has been very quiet beyond leaf lesions on the usual suspects. However, in Mississippi, my colleagues report serious incidents of blast on specific varieties.

So, if you have blast-susceptible varieties there planted late, think really hard about making at least one protective fungicide application to combat neck blast.

Finally, isolated cases of cercospora (narrow brown leaf spot or NBLS) have turned up in rice.

This happens some years, particularly those with mild and rainy conditions. For instance, it was fairly easy to detect in 2014. NBLS usually isn’t found at yield-limiting levels in Arkansas, but it can be confused with other diseases when it’s on the leaf and sheath. One of the better defined characteristics is the net blotch appearance when it infects rice stems

As always, if you see something questionable, give us a call.

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