Field Notes April 12, 2010; seed midge, barnyardgrass

The photograph above was taken in lower Vermilion parish last week.  At the time it was the largest rice I had seen this year.  It was water seeded and a pinpoint flood management system was being employed.  The combination of cooler than normal temperatures and dry conditions has really delayed crop development.  In almost every case I have seen where the grower flushed following dry seeding the crop is ahead of those fields where the grower decided to “wait on a rain.” 

In the last issue of Field Notes I discussed soil cracking associated with seed bed preparation in a flooded field.  The photograph here was taken by Eddie Eskew.  It demonstrates a classic case of “potato chipping”.  On the right side of the photograph you can see the obvious curling and the white sandy surface of the ped of soil left below it.

In the photograph at left are small tubes made of soil and something like spider web stuff that insects produce.  These are protective structures of midges, including the rice seed midge.  .

The photograph at right is for review.  The genus Echinochloa which contains barnyardgrass, jungle rice and their variants is the main genus of grasses that lacks a ligule.

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