By Yeshi Wamishe, Extension Rice Pathologist
Despite the Covid-19 crisis, our mission remains unchanged and that is to serve Arkansas and its community. As rain continues to delay planting and cool temperatures persist, seedling diseases could be a concern in spring planted rice. Cool and wet weather retards seed germination and reduces seedlings vigor. Below are some tips on pre-emptive management of seed rots and seedling diseases:
- To ensure seed germination under field conditions, avoid using poor quality seed, particularly seeds stored inadequately for a lengthy period. Seeds stored under high moisture and temperature have a greater possibility of losing their viability.
- To determine the potential seedling emergence, germination testing before planting is advisable.
- To reduce seed rotting and encourage adequate seedling emergence, plant seeds treated with appropriate fungicides and insecticides– use higher rates of seed treatment containing mefenoxam, fludioxonil, metalaxyl, trifloxystrobin, Sedaxane (Vibrance) either individually or in combinations of two or more of these fungicides and insecticides.
- To increase emergence and seedling vigor, addition of gibberellic acid seed treatment may be considered particularly when germination capacities of the seeds are weak or seeding rates are low.
- To make seed treatments worth your money, make sure the seeds are uniformly covered.
- To have uniform emergence, correct low areas that puddle in your field.
- To maximize crop tolerance to diseases, correct soil nutrient deficiencies timely.
- To read more on insecticide seed treatment update, go to Update03-13-2020
- To read on importance of fungicides seed treatment, go to fungicide-treatments.
- Refer to MP154 Rice seedling diseases for names active ingredients and rates.
- Follow product labels in their handling. Labels are the rule.
Note: Seed treatment may last only for 2 or 3 weeks in very wet soil conditions.