Arkansas Rice: When To Use Combo Seed Treatments

Over the past three years, we have talked a lot about combinations of insecticide seed treatments and the benefits of combining different seed treatments for control of grape colaspis and rice water weevil. We have been comparing combinations of a neonicotinoid (CruiserMaxx Rice or NipsIt INSIDE) with a diamide seed treatment (Dermacor X-100 or Fortenza) for multiple years now.

In our studies when we compare the neonicotinoid seed treatments CruiserMaxx Rice and NipsIt INSIDE, we have observed very little difference in efficacy between the two products. In other words, they both perform equally well, particularly on grape colaspis. They also provide control of rice water weevil, but neither provide as great of control as Dermacor or Fortenza.

In contrast, Dermacor does not provide adequate control of grape colaspis. Another thing to remember is that CruiserMaxx and NipsIt protect rice for about 28-35 days. Dermacor, on the other hand, provide protection for 60-70 days after planting or more, with similar results observed for Fortenza.

With combinations of one of the neonics and one of the diamide seed treatments we consistently see an increase in control of rice water weevil and as a result, we see better yields compared to a neonic alone. We have seen some increased control when combining CruiserMaxx and NipsIt, but it is less consistent than combinations including a diamide seed treatment.

The question we have been asked a lot recently is: Do I need this combination on every acre? The short answer is no, but it’s dependent on multiple factors. Planting date and soil texture are the two biggest factors in making this decision.

When Emergence Lags

For rice planted in April, that is more likely to sit in the ground longer and take longer to get to flood, the addition of one of the diamide seed treatments will help tremendously with rice water weevil control. In this planting window there is a much higher likelihood of the neonic seed treatments running out of gas before the flood is applied, which will lead to a reduced control for rice water weevil.

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For rice planted in May, a neonic seed treatment will typically suffice. At this point rice is usually coming out of the ground quickly and we can manage to get to flood within the 28-35 day window that the neonics last.

Soil texture is another major concern. Soil texture will dictate whether or not grape colaspis will be a concern. Grape colaspis do not occur in heavy clay soil, which is typicaly rice ground in large portions of Northeast and Southeast Arkansas, and in these areas a single diamide or neonic seed treatment should suffice if rice is planted in May.

Grape colaspis is very likely to be found in our finer, more loamy soils throughout the Grand Prairie and White River regions, so regardless of planting date we have to have one of the neonic seed treatments on our seed to protect it.

The bottom line is we need seed treatments in rice to stay profitable, and while it may cost more money, combinations of insecticide seed treatments will pay for themselves in early planted rice. We can still see benefits in later planted rice from the combinations, but in most cases, they are not needed. Commodity prices are not great right now, so we need to be mindful of how we spend our money and be sure to put these combinations of insecticide seed treatments where they belong.

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