Aphids in Rice

Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist
By Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist and Tim Walker, Agronomist May 24, 2013 08:46

There have been some reports of aphids in Arkansas rice fields recently.  I talked to Gus Lorenz (UofA Extension Entomologist) yesterday and he told me that they are seeing several species of aphids scattered throughout Arkansas. I have not heard of or seen any in Mississippi rice fields to date, but I wanted to make everyone aware of what is being seen in Arkansas.

Several different species of aphids are being observed including greenbug and bird cherry oat aphid.  The aphids are showing up exclusively in fields that did not have a neonicotinoid seed treatment (Cruiser or Nipsit INSIDE).  Both of those seed treatments do a very good job controlling all of the grain aphid species that would potentially occur in rice.  Most of the rice in Mississippi has one of these seed treatments, so we should not have much of a problem.  The biggest problem has been in young rice that has been stressed by either adverse weather conditions or herbicide drift.  In some situations, the aphids can threaten stands, especially greenbug.

Scouting for aphids in young rice can be difficult.  It will take some time and effort crawling around on your knees to find them.  They can be anywhere on the plant, but they will generally be around or down in the whorl of the plant.  Greenbug can be a little easier to find because they inject a toxin into the leaf when they feed and you will see some yellowing on the leaf at the site of feeding. Again, the problem is likely to only show up in fields that DO NOT have either Cruiser or Nipsit INSIDE, but it would be a good idea to check those fields as well, especially if they are already stressed.

The good news is that any of the species we would see in rice are easy to control if they are causing additional stress or threatening stands.  A pyrethroid at a mid-rate should do a good job on any of these species. If you suspect that you have aphids and need help finding or identifying them, feel free to give me a call and I will be happy to come out and take a look or help in any way that I can.

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Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist
By Jeff Gore, Research and Extension Entomologist and Tim Walker, Agronomist May 24, 2013 08:46
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