By Yeshi Wamishe, Extension Rice Pathologist
Managing rice diseases begins with knowing a cultivar’s level of susceptibility. The cultivar-by-disease reaction table below shows the disease information gathered from fields across Arkansas and some from other rice-producing states in The South. Cells with no values do not imply resistance.
Fungicides are not the only answer to managing major diseases of rice. While fungicides are most beneficial in well-managed fields, by the same token, well-managed fields require less or no fungicides. In certain instances such as in fields with a history of repeated use of susceptible cultivars, fungicides may become a necessity. Resistant cultivars need to be integrated with good cultural management. Weather plays a vital role in disease severity. Disease reactions below are disease severity levels under favorable weather conditions. Matching your fields to varieties of your choice based on disease reactions is beneficial. For instance, avoid planting blast-susceptible varieties where you have limited water sources, on sandier soils or fields surrounded by trees. Managing your potassium and nitrogen fertilizer inputs also plays a vital role in disease severity.