Research conducted by Albert Fischer and James Eckert, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, has confirmed that some populations of smallflower umbrellasedge from rice fields in the Sacramento Valley have become resistant to propanil. Following is a summary of their findings.
Smallflower umbrellasedge seed from eight fields where resistance was suspected was collected and germinated in the greenhouse. Plants were grown in pots and, at the 2-3 or 4-5 leaf stage they were sprayed with SuperWham, UltraStam or RiceShot at half field rate, recommended field rate, and twice field rate. Both spray timings produced similar results, but the earlier application produced the most striking results.
Table 1 shows the percent control of smallflower umbrellasedge when sprayed with 3 formulations of propanil. For simplicity, I’m showing only the results of the application with 6 lbs a.i./a. Percent control of smallflower umbrellasedge from fields 4, 6 and 8 was very poor, between 6 and 45%. Control of smallflower umbrellasedge from field 3 was mediocre, between 62 and 74%. And control of smallflower umbrellasedge from fields 1, 2, 5 and 7 was very good, between 68 and 100%.
Table 1. Percent control of smallflower umbrellasedge with 3 formulations of propanil applied at 6 lbs a.i./a.
Smallflower umbrellasedge from fields 1, 2, 5 and 7 can be considered susceptible to the formulations of propanil applied. They were tested because control failure had been observed in the field. Results from the greenhouse tests suggest that something went wrong with the field application. For example, the application could have been made too late, coverage may have not been appropriate, there could have been incompatibility in the tank mix, wrong application rates might have been used, etc. Populations from fields 3, 4, 6 and 8 can be considered resistant. This prompts the question, what are the options to control these populations?
To answer this question, another set of greenhouse tests were conducted to evaluate herbicide options for propanil-resistant smallflower umbrellasedge. Results (Table 2) show that propanil-resistant smallflower umbrellasedge was also resistant to Londax, resistant or partially resistant to Granite SC and Sandea, and susceptible to Shark H2O when applied as a foliar.
Table 2. Percent control of smallflower umbrellasedge with alternative herbicides.
Results suggest that in fields with propanil-resistant smallflower umbrellasedge, Shark H2O could be used to achieve control. In fields where resistance is not a problem yet, the best approach is to alternate modes of action whenever possible. If you suspect you have propanil-resistant smallflower umbrellasedge, collect seeds at the end of the season and take them to the Weed Science project at the Rice Experiment Station in Biggs for screening.
Armyworms are common in rice fields from mid-July to August. Two species can infest rice, the armyworm and the western yellowstriped armyworm. These insects build up their populations in alfalfa, other grains and grasses, and invade rice late in the season. The adults are moths that lay their eggs either on rice leaves or on broadleaf weeds within rice fields. After the eggs hatch, the small larvae begin feeding on rice foliage and/or panicles. Young larvae are hard to see, they can be less than a quarter of an inch long and their color mimics older rice foliage. Larvae go through a series of molts, growing to 1.5 to 2 inches. When they are ready to pupate, they drop to the ground in search for a good pupation site in the soil. In rice, they usually drown. I have seen armyworms pupate in the leaf sheath of older leafs at the base of plants at the water level, but this is uncommon.
Foliage feeding does not affect yield unless the armyworms consume 25% or more of the crop’s foliage. It’s not uncommon to walk a rice field and find areas where feeding is noticeable. In those areas, open the canopy and look near the water level. You might find armyworms resting there during the day. At night or when it’s cooler, they will climb up the plant and continue their feeding. Take notice of the size of armyworms you see – if most of them are small, they will continue their feeding and a treatment might be needed. If you can’t find any armyworms, they probably have already completed their cycle and there is no need to do a treatment.
Armyworm damage can be more problematic during heading. Typical panicle injury consists of blank panicle branches, although sometimes the whole panicle can be blank. What happens is that the armyworm bites the rachis of the branch and the grains in that branch don’t fill. Sometimes, armyworm injury can be confused with cold temperature blanking. However, if you look closely at the blank panicle or branches, you will see a chewing mark where the blank area begins. Inspect your fields as the panicles come out of the boot – I believe this is when most of the armyworm damage occurs. If after inspecting your field you find that 10% or more panicles are affected, and you can still find armyworms, a treatment might be needed.
For the most part, armyworms are not a major problem in California rice. Some growers experienced severe infestations last year; heavy infestations seem to be cyclical and return every few years. Luckily, armyworms have several natural enemies in rice fields that are very good at keeping their populations down. Birds are important armyworm predators and can function as a warning system for their presence in the field.
Up until today, I hadn't seen any blast in the area, but I got a couple of calls today of growers having to put a fungicide because of blast. We'll see if this year blast will be as bad as the past two years.
Scout your fields and keep in mind that M-205 and M-104 are the most susceptible varieties we have. Draining and high nitrogen rates can increase the severity of blast. Below I'm re-posting some pictures and comments about blast.
Leaf blast symptoms of the disease begin as small grayish, whitish or bluish spots that enlarge to form diamond shaped lesions.
Lesions can coalesce and cover most of the leaf blades, causing "holes" of dead plants. This holes are usually observed at the edge of the field, in areas where nitrogen was overapplied because of overlap during aqua application. Excess nitrogen make plants more susceptible to infection.
Neck and panicle blast are of economic importance. Infection of the panicles directly reduce yield by causing empty heads that produce little or no grain.
Environmental conditions that favor the disease are extended periods of free moisture on the surface of the plant, night time temperatures between 63-73 F, no wind and high relative humidity.
When treating for blast, time your applications so that the young panicles are protected as they emerge from the boot. The fungicide azoxystrobin inhibits spore germination, and therefore is more effective when applied as a protectant. When using a fungicide, follow label directions and rates.
A couple of weeks ago, a PCA brought me some grassy "weeds" from a field. The plants had ligules, so they weren't watergrass or barnyardgrass. The leaves were thin and long, but did not look like sprangletop; they just looked like "elongated" rice plants. In fact, that's probably what they were: plants infected with bakanae disease. I was in a field this morning with some of these plants, and had a chance to take some pictures.
Bakanae is caused by a fungus that grows within the plant and produces gibberellin, which makes the plant grow longer than usual. In the field, you will notice rice plants that look taller with thin leaf blades.
Another symptom of the disease is the production of roots from some of the nodes.
The fungus also produces fusaric acid, which causes stunning. Infected plants also develop crown rot.
Left - healthy crown. Right - crown rot of bakanae infested plant.
Infected plants usually die before heading, but if they survive they produce a blank panicle or no panicle at all. Bakanae is a seedborne disease that moves around with infested seed. The most effective way to prevent the disease is to plant seed that has been treated with a sodium hypochlorite (bleach) soak.
Winged primrose willow is an invasive weed that was identified in Butte County rice fields in 2011. Most infestations were along borders of fields and canals; however, this weed can thrive in the flooded environment within rice fields. Winged primrose willow can disperse through seeds and plant fragments floating in the irrigation water and tillage and harvest equipment.
Greenhouse tests showed that winged primrose willow can be controlled with rice herbicides. Early, into-the-water applications of Bolero Ultramax, Cerano or Granite GR effectively killed young plants. Foliar applications of Sandea and Londax were effective in controlling young plants (1.5 inches). Older plants (2.5 inches) were controlled by Grandstand or a tank mix of Grandstand and SuperWham.
After the initial discovery of winged primrose willow (Ludwigia decurrens) in Butte county, it was determined by Farm Advisors and the Agricultural Commissioner that the infestation expands over several square miles. Most infestations are along borders of fields and irrigation canals. One field had an infestation throughout. It is likely that this weed has gone undetected for up to five years or more. Seed capsules from this plant have thousands of seeds which are capable of floating on the water surface as a means of dispersal, especially along irrigation canals. Indeed, the Butte County Agricultural Commissioner believes this has been the main means of dispersal across the majority of the infested area. Other potential means of spread are by tillage equipment and combines. Additionally, it has been determined that plant fragments have the ability to grow roots within a day or two when in water. This suggests that mowing of levees as a means of control may potentially increase dispersal of this weed.
Testing in the greenhouse at the Rice Experiment Station indicates that the plant germinates best when the soil is moist but not flooded. However, the seed can germinate under water and eventually grow above the water surface with the potential to survive in a rice field and set seed. This plant also has the ability to form roots that grow upwards through the water column in order to scavenge oxygen near the water surface. Glyphosate will control this plant on levees, but any formed seed capsules will have viable seeds that will likely germinate the next season if not removed from the field and buried in a landfill as requested by the Agricultural Commissioner. It is suggested that any levee spraying of known infestations happen early in the season prior to the yellow flowers being visible.
Testing of currently available rice herbicides indicates several potential options for control of this invasive weed within rice fields. We tested early season water active herbicides (Table 1). This was done at early water flood and on larger, more established weeds. The early flood treatment entailed moistened soil for 3 days prior to the flood being established. This was intended to simulate the flooding of large fields where the soil is moist as water is built up for flood. Winged primrose willow will germinate under this conditions prior to flood. Herbicide treatments were applied after the flood was established. The later timing entailed plants that were allowed to establish and grow to approximately 2.5 inches in moist soil, then the flood was established and herbicide treatments applied. This treatment method was intended to be similar to a drill seeded situation where into water herbicides could be applied after establishment of permanent flood.
Table 1. Water active herbicides tested against winged primrose willow at Biggs, CA.
In continuous flood, Cerano caused bleaching and eventual death of the small plants. The later application of Cerano slowly bleached the plants and it is believed that they will not be able to produce viable seed. Bolero Ultramax activity was fairly slow, but eventually killed both young and older plants when flood was maintained. Granite GR slowly bleached the young plants and it is expected to fully control the weed at that stage; however, more established plants survived the treatment and would likely set seed. Shark H2O initially appeared to be very efficacious on both plant sizes; however, plants were able to survive the treatment by putting on new leaves. These plants eventually flowered and would be expected to produce viable seeds. Sandea applied to the flood water did not control the weed although it caused some malformations of the typical plant. It is likely the plants surviving the Sandea treatment would set seed.
We also tested later season foliar herbicides (Table 2) on both early establishment and larger more established plants. Early establishment in this case consisted of plants allowed to establish to approximately 1.5 inches tall at time of application. The larger, more established plants were approximately 2.5 inches tall.
Table 2. Foliar active herbicides tested against winged primrose willow, Biggs, CA.
Regiment did not control either young or old plants. Granite SC also did not fully control either age of plants. Sandea and Londax, however, appear to control the weed sufficiently when it is young but less effectively when it is more established. Shark H2O initially appeared to be the best treatment with rapid severe burn of leaves, but the plants recovered by producing new leaves. These plants eventually produced flowers and would be expected to have viable seed. SuperWham provided some control when the plants were small, however the more established plants were not significantly hindered. Grandstand caused severe damage to both young and established plants. The tank mix of SuperWham and Grandstand was the most efficacious of all the foliar treatments.
The best control strategy for winged primrose willow in rice culture would be to use early water active herbicides like Bolero Ultramax, Cerano or Granite GR when the weed is very small and more vulnerable to treatment. If follow-up foliar herbicides are needed, early appications of Sandea or Londax may be sufficient when the weed is still very small. Later foliar applications for control of winged primrose willow would require Grandstand or a tank mix of Grandstand plus SuperWham. Some of the treatments that did not kill winged primrose willow may have been sufficient to prevent establishment in rice and setting of viable seed.