Well, planting season is right around the corner…time to consider using an insecticidal seed treatment. I highly recommend using CruiserMaxx Rice, Dermacor X-100 or NipsIt INSIDE. Particularly if you are planting a hybrid or a Horizon Ag Clearfield variety. As you know, hybrids and Horizon Ag Clearfield varieties are planted at lower seeding rates than conventional varieties. Protecting these stands is crucial to producing high yields.
In addition, our research consistently shows rice water weevil populations are higher and more damaging in fields with thinner stands. These critters simply are attracted to thinner stands of rice. Furthermore, our research also shows controlling insect pests in your main crop benefits both your main and ratoon crops. Sometimes the yield benefit you receive can actually be greater in the ratoon vs the main crop. Conventional varieties also benefit from seed treatments.
Two of the seed treatments—CruiserMaxx Rice and NipsIt INSIDE—contain neonicotinoids as active ingredients. USEPA is concerned about the “neonics” because they have been implicated in honeybee kills in the Midwest—especially involving planting soybean seed treated with the “neonics”.
USA Rice Federation is in the process of educating USEPA about the differences in planting soybeans and rice. My scientific colleagues and I don’t believe our method of drilling rice poses a threat to honeybees. We have provided USA Rice Federation with data and information on behalf of continued use of the “neonics”.
I briefly mentioned in my last article about the retirement of Jack Vawter and Billy Sanders who worked at the David R. Wintermann Rice Research Station at Eagle Lake for a combined 68 years! Jack will continue working part time beginning in March—I’m not sure about Billy. We scientists at the Beaumont Center greatly appreciate all the good work Jack and Billy performed over the years. On a personal note, with their help at Eagle Lake and Ganado, my project developed management options for stalk borers, rice water weevil and rice stink bug. I wish both Jack and Billy the best—and I hope Billy decides to work part time too!