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10
Apr
2020
Social Distancing and More to Reduce Rice Diseases
Author: Yeshi Wamishe, Extension Rice Plant Pathologist

Yeshi Wamishe, Extension Plant Pathologist – Rice

Social distancing is one of the guidelines we need to follow towards shrinking the risk of COVID-19. Likewise, to reduce disease occurrence and the ultimate spread of pathogens across a field, dense crop canopy is not advisable. Here below are a few guidelines to reduce rice diseases.

· Mask seeds with appropriate seed dressing fungicides combined with insecticides to reduce seed rots and seedling diseases.

· Avoid crowdedness i.e., keep “social distancing”, by using the recommended seeding and pre-flood nitrogen fertilizer rates. Read this fact sheet seeding rates on advantages of using adequate seeding rates.

· Keep your field clean from weeds by using appropriate herbicides to lessen competition for nutrition. Weeds are not part of your rice variety. Some weeds also serve as main or alternative host to disease pathogens. Eliminate competitor weeds from your field same as fighting COVID-19 from establishing in your lungs.

Pathogens that cause the following rice diseases are highly discouraged by “social distancing”: Sheath blight, blast particularly leaf blast earlier in the season, false smut, kernel smut and bacterial panicle blight.

Check list:

1. Do you have a history of your field?

2. Do you know enough about the variety of your choice? What are the diseases common in your rice variety you selected to plant this year?

3. Do you know the soil type of your specific fields? How is your variety’s percent emergence in different soil types of your specific fields?

4. Is it late for you’re to plant? How is your variety acting if planted real late?

5. Which nutrient (s) is deficient in your specific fields? Have they been corrected?

6. Is your field size manageable to adequately water in short time span?

7. Is your water resource enough to handle your field size?

8. Do you have appropriate fungicides at hand or have you planned for rice diseases that commonly prevail?

9. If fungicide are needed, are you aware of the timing, rates and frequencies?

10. Weather often being a challenge, are you psychologically, physically and financially prepared for any unexpected phenomenon?

Check out the table below to know about your variety susceptibility level to common Arkansas rice diseases. All varieties do not respond in the same way to pathogens, likewise people to COVID-19. We need to be proactive and stay ahead of pathogens.

Sheath blight (darker lesions on sheath and leaf) and leaf blast (ashy centered lesions on the right)
Sheath blight (darker lesions on sheath and leaf) and leaf blast (ashy centered lesions on the right)

Consult MP154 Rice.pdf Pages 19-20 or your county agents for more information on fungicides. Fungicide application benefits well in well-managed fields.


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