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Farmers learn about new rice technology at field day

News Release Distributed 06/05/14

FENTON, La. –Developing a new variety of rice sometimes requires eliminating a good breeding line that once showed promise but isn’t quite good enough.

That’s the scenario Steve Linscombe, LSU AgCenter rice breeder, described at the Southwest Rice Field Day held on June 5.

Linscombe said the Clearfield line LA2171 had good yield and disease resistance, and he thought it could be released as a variety this year. He said he had planted a seed increase in Puerto Rico at a nursery there. But a closer look at the harvested grains recently didn’t show him what he wanted to see.

“It did not have quite the quality I wanted,” Linscombe said, adding that he has other lines with potential.

Linscombe said much of his work is funded by the rice checkoff system, and he said a new checkoff program has been approved by the Louisiana Legislature and signed by the governor. “This is critical for what we do at the Rice Research Station.”

Linscombe said the new Provisia herbicide-resistant rice technology from BASF is using a mutated line that has cereal chemistry different from the rice grown in most of the United States. In addition to developing a new variety with good yield, quality and agronomic characteristics, it will also be important to make sure the line has acceptable cereal chemistry, he said.

Eric Webster, LSU AgCenter weed scientist, said he is testing the Provisia herbicide, effective on grasses, in mixtures with broadleaf herbicides to find out if the chemicals are compatible. “I’m seeing a lot of good results.”

At the earliest, the Provisia rice could be available in three years, according to Webster.

He said he will have several plots showing his work on the Provisia technology at the June 12 field day being held at the South Farm of the Rice Research Station near Crowley.

Mike Stout, LSU AgCenter entomologist, said rice water weevils have shown up, although they seemed to be late because of the cold winter.

“Over the past 10 days in my plots at Crowley, I’ve had an explosion of rice water weevils,” he said, adding that insecticides can be used on rice that did not get a seed treatment.

Johnny Saichuk, LSU AgCenter rice specialist, said he also has seen heavy weevil populations and a heavy infestation of fall armyworm.

Saichuk said the rice crop is about three days to a week behind its usual progression, and he found his first sheath blight lesion on a rice plant this week.

Don Groth, LSU AgCenter plant pathologist, said warm, dry weather in recent weeks created conditions not good for disease development. “Hopefully, sheath blight, blast and Cercospora will get a late start.”

But Groth said diseases will become more prevalent as rice plants grow.

Dustin Harrell, LSU AgCenter agronomist, said farmers should consider replenishing phosphorus and potassium in their fields. Higher-yielding rice will deplete fields of the two nutrients, Harrell said, at approximately one pound for every barrel of rice harvested.

Ron Levy, LSU AgCenter soybean specialist, said last year’s state average harvest of 49 bushels an acre set a record for the second year in a row. Some soybeans grown on raised beds in sugarcane acreage produced more than 100 bushels, he said.

Farmers who have delayed planting beans should consider increasing their seeding rate, he said. Usually a seeding rate to obtain 80,000 to 100,000 plants per acre is advised, Levy said, but planting now should increase that to 140,000 to 200,000 plants, he said.

Linscombe thanked farmer Jimmy Hoppe for providing land and water used to grow test plots for 20 consecutive years.

Bruce Schultz

Last Updated: 6/5/2014 3:52:55 PM

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