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Posted 21 December 2011. PMN Crop News.

Mexican Rice Borer Moving Slowly Into Louisiana

Source: Louisiana State University Press Release.

Welsh, Louisiana (December 16, 2011)--Entomologists continue to monitor the eastward progress of the Mexican rice borer.


Adult moths were found in October 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 dont want people to do is go out and change their management strategy if they dont typically have a problem with borers, she said. We encourage people in the infested parishes to monitor their rice crop more closely next season and use management strategies as needed.

LSU AgCenter rice specialist Johnny Saichuk said at the Rice Outlook Conference in Austin, Texas, last week that the borer is not expected to be a major problem. I dont think its 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.

She 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.

Bruce Schultz