Posts Tagged: rice
Armyworms can be a serious pest in rice. The worms can eat the rice foliate or panicles, and cause yield reductions.
In 2015, a severe outbreak of armyworms caught rice growers by surprise, resulting in yield losses. In a 2018 survey conducted by UC Cooperative Extension, rice growers reported average yield losses in 2015 ranging from 4% to 12%. Since UCCE began a monitoring program in 2016, rice losses to armyworms have been rare, according to Luis Espino, UC Cooperative Extension rice farming systems advisor in Butte and Glenn counties.
To safeguard the rice crop against the pests, UCCE began conducting areawide monitoring of armyworms in 2016 using pheromone traps that attract the moths as they fly around rice fields. The traps are set up in 15 locations of the Sacramento Valley, from Richvale to Knights Landing, and in three sites in the Delta, covering most of the rice production area of California. The traps were set up early in the season and checked weekly until fields are ready to harvest.
“Moth numbers are delivered to more than 1,500 growers and crop consultants weekly via email, so they have a warning system to know when populations are increasing and when to start scouting closely,” Espino said.
“Treatments are not always needed, but armyworm damage can occur quickly and monitoring needs to be increased during the periods of peak moth flight,” he said. During periods of peak flight, the UCCE advisors provide growers with information on how to decide if a treatment is needed.
The information from the armyworm monitoring network, together with efforts by the rice industry to register insecticides that are effective at controlling armyworms, has resulted in better control of armyworms and less yield losses.
“In 2017 and 2018, I'd say yield loss due to armyworms was rare, and probably only happened in a couple of cases,” Espino said. “It's hard to give you hard numbers, but I'd say in 2017 and 2018, yield losses have been reduced to a minimum.”
The $1 million UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for California Grown Rice has been awarded to Whitney Brim-DeForest, UCCE rice advisor for Sutter, Yuba, Placer, Sacramento and Butte counties.
Brim-DeForest said she will use the funds generated from the endowed chair to hire a full-time technician to monitor a research study at UC Davis on weedy rice. Weedy rice is the same species as cultivated rice and it produces rice, however the grain falls off the plant before harvest.
She is part of a team of UC scientists that includes UCCE advisors Luis Espino and Michelle Lindfelder-Miles, and UCCE specialists Bruce Linquist and Kassim Al-Khatib who are conducting the five-year demonstration project to help farmers manage the problem.
“We don't know where weedy rice came from,” Brim-DeForest said. “It's a weed in every major rice growing area around the world. We were among the last areas to see it.”
In the UC Davis experiment, the scientists plan to demonstrate two potential weedy rice management strategies: rotate the rice crop with sorghum and create a “stale seed bed,” in which the field is irrigated and plants allowed to germinate, and then killed with an herbicide before the desired rice is planted.
“We want to demonstrate this in the field,” Brim-DeForest said. “In theory, it works. We want to show growers how long it will take to get weedy rice out of their fields.”
Half the funds for the endowed chair was provided by UC President Janet Napolitano; the other half was donated by the California Rice Research Board.
“The establishment of this endowed chair strengthens the long-standing public-private research partnership UC Cooperative Extension has had with the California rice industry,” said UC Agriculture and Natural Resources associate vice president Tu Tran, when the endowment was announced in 2016. “Continued research advancements will help the rice industry maintain its reputation for supplying a premium product for domestic and world markets.”
The chair appointment will be for a five-year term, and then reviewed and renewed or offered to another specialist or advisor working on California rice.
Brim-DeForest joined UCCE in 2016 after serving as a graduate student researcher in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, working at the California Rice Experiment Station in Biggs. She managed the UC Davis Weed Science field and greenhouse trials, and worked with industry and academic scientists to design field and greenhouse trials for weed management in rice.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is hosting a four-day Rice Technical Working Group Conference February 19-22 in Long Beach. The conference will provide participants with the latest information and research from experts on plant breeding and genetics, rice culture, weed control, economics and marketing, and many other topics
“California is very excited to host the 2018 RTWG (Rice Technical Working Group) conference, which brings together over 300 researchers from all over the U.S. and the world to discuss the latest developments in rice research,” said Bruce Linquist, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and conference chair.
Keynote presenters are Ken Cassman, emeritus professor of agronomy at the University of Nebraska; John Eadie, professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology at UC Davis; and Susan McCouch, professor of plant breeding and genetics, plant biology, biological statistics and computational biology at Cornell University.
The conference will be at the Westin Long Beach, 333 East Ocean Blvd. Registration is $475; $300 for students. Registration includes conference attendance, the welcome reception, the industry luncheon, the awards luncheons, and technical sessions. Current registration prices valid until the day of the conference. Register at http://ucanr.edu/sites/2018RTWG/Registration/.
California Department of Pesticide Regulation credits are pending.
Visit our website to see the latest information and to view the full conference agenda http://ucanr.edu/sites/2018RTWG/.
For more information, contact Lauren McNees at (530) 750-1257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rice variety trials at the Rice Research Station in Biggs, Calif. (Photo: Evett Kilmartin)
Contestants in California's rice growing region have worked all summer, and now researchers are harvesting designated plots to be entered into the 2016 UC Cooperative Extension Rice Yield Contest. The contest is in its second year, following a pilot contest in 2015 that included only Butte County farmers.
The contest is held largely for educational purposes, said organizer Bruce Linquist, UCCE specialist based at UC Davis.
“We are providing an opportunity for rice producers and UC scientists to share information about intensive rice production in California,” Linquist said. “We started small last year to be sure our contest wouldn't interfere with the farmers' harvest, and now our contest spans the entire Sacramento Valley.”
Among the five 2015 entrants, farmer Joe Richter came in first, growing variety M-205 and raking in 6.3 tons of rice per acre. Farmer Rodney Jenkins came in second with 5.7 tons per acre growing variety M-206.
The UCCE Rice Yield Contest is modeled after the National Corn Yield Contest, which goes back more than 50 years. The National Corn Growers Association created the contest as a way to encourage advances and new approaches in corn production, and then sharing what is learned on farmer's plots with growers across the country.
Linquist said he believes rice farmers in the contest might try a new approach to boost yield on the contest plot, and if successful, apply it to the rest of the farm in the future. The participating growers are required to share basic crop management information such as variety, planting date, seeding rate, water management; while other practices are asked for but not required.
Yields in the pilot study were high for all the contestants, Linquist said.
“This process gives you an upper limit,” Linquist said. “The information is helpful for sustainable intensification – increasing yields without impacting the environmental footprint.”
The prize for the highest yield was modest in 2015 – a hat and custom engraved hunting knife. But if the UCCE Rice Yield Contest takes off like the National Corn Yield Contest, interest could grow.
“For rice, right now it's more about bragging rights,” Linquist said. “What we'd like to do is get the industry involved. Winning the corn yield contest is a really big deal. The organizers give out a trophy, and the industry gives vacations, small tractors and other prizes.”
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) has established a $1 million UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Presidential Chair for California Grown Rice, announced UC ANR associate vice president of business operations Tu Tran. The endowed chair will provide a UCCE scientist a dedicated source of funds to support scholarly activities focused on improvement of California rice production and quality.
Half the funds for the endowed chair was provided by UC President Janet Napolitano; the other half was donated by the California Rice Research Board. The announcement was made at the Rice Experiment Station in Biggs, Calif., on Aug. 31.
“The establishment of this endowed chair strengthens the long-standing public-private research partnership UC Cooperative Extension has had with the California rice industry,” Tran said. “Continued research advancements will help the rice industry maintain its reputation for supplying a premium product for domestic and world markets.”
The California rice industry has a long history of supporting research, said Seth Fiack, Glenn County rice farmer and the past president of the California Rice Research Board. As president of the board, Fiack shepherded the establishment of the new presidential chair.
“We, as an industry, have always taken it upon ourselves to fund research we see as significant,” Fiack said. “More than 100 years ago, rice growers established the Rice Experiment Station to keep them viable and sustainable. California rice chooses to have the highest investment in research on a per-unit basis among rice producing states.”
The Rice Experiment Station in Biggs is operated by the grower owned and funded California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation, in close collaboration with UC Cooperative Extension, UC Davis and USDA.
UC Cooperative Extension and UC Davis scientists focus on rice production research issues such as weed, disease and insect pest management, nutrient management and water conservation. They also conduct the Statewide Yield Tests, testing varieties and experimental rice lines in grower's fields, all with funding support from the California Rice Research Board.
Don Bransford, third-generation Sacramento Valley rice grower, praised the formation of the new UC Cooperative Extension Presidential chair for California Grown Rice.
“This is a partnership that has gone back many, many years,” Bransford said. “Much of the success of the California rice industry is due to our relationship with Cooperative Extension. Working hand-in-hand with UC, we've been able to supply markets with an extremely high quality rice and support the environment by providing critical habitat to more than 200 wildlife species.”
The new presidential chair will be awarded by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources to a UCCE specialist or advisor currently working in rice research or to recruit an external candidate to UCCE. The chair appointment will be for a five-year term, and then reviewed and renewed or offered to another specialist or advisor working on California rice.
Napolitano created the Presidential Match for Endowed Chairs in 2014 for UC campuses and UC ANR to use as an incentive to encourage donors to establish endowed chairs to fund research. Endowed chairs help attract and retain top-flight academics.