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In October, adult moths were found in Jefferson Davis Parish in monitoring traps approximately 10 miles south of Welsh. The traps are maintained by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
The pest, which came to Louisiana from Texas, was previously found in east Calcasieu Parish in a rice crop.
The discovery should not set off a panic, said LSU AgCenter entomologist Natalie Hummel. “The thing we don’t want people to do is go out and change their management strategy if they don’t typically have a problem with borers. We encourage people in the infested parishes to monitor their rice crop more closely next season and use management strategies as needed.”
At the recent Rice Outlook Conference in Austin, Texas, LSU AgCenter rice specialist Johnny Saichuk said that the borer is not expected to be a major problem. “I don’t think it’s anything to panic about.”
Farmers who use the Dermacor seed treatment against rice water weevils should get protection against the Mexican rice borer, Hummel said.
The borer and treatment options will be discussed at the LSU AgCenter winter rice clinics being held the first week of January.
LSU AgCenter entomologist Gene Reagan, who has studied the Mexican rice borer extensively, said the pest probably will cause more damage to sugarcane than rice.
From Delta Farm Press
Bacterial panicle blight, also known as “Bengal Disease” in Arkansas rice circles, is not a new disease. Veteran rice expert Chuck Wilson says the disease can reduce yields by 50 percent and that rice under stress, like last year’s flooding-delayed crop, seems to be more susceptible. Wilson talked about the University of Arkansas’ efforts to fight the disease at the USA Rice Outlook Conference in Austin, Texas.