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Plant in warm soil
Seedling diseases of rice are accentuated when the soil around the seed and seedling is cool and wet. Seed and seedling death can result in severely reduced stands and consequently reduce yields.
Growers should avoid planting in cool soil and when the weather forecast indicates that cool conditions may develop within several days of planting. Seed should be treated with a fungicide prior to planting.
Rice fields should be scouted for leaf symptoms of blast beginning at the seedling stage and continuing until early heading. Leaf symptoms will appear most readily on plants at the edges of fields, on levees, in areas of the fields that are shaded in the morning, or in areas that received excessive nitrogen.
You should continue to scout for blast near the heading stage and watch carefully for flag leaf collar symptoms on early-planted susceptible varieties.
If symptoms are found on your crops after scouting, prepare to use fungicides at the late boot stage and again when 80 to 90 percent of plants are headed.
Several fungicides have been tested in the past for rice blast management. Most of the effective agents were heavy metals solutions, including phenylmercuric acetate, triphenyltin hydroxide, and several copper compounds, including Bordeaux mixture ( 1, 13, 18).
If blast lesions are observed on leaves prior to heading, a single fungicide application should be made at late boot (when at least 50% of the main tillers are splitting the boot or have the very tips of the panicles beginning to emerge).
The decision to treat is more easily made when one or more of the following factors exist:
- A susceptible variety is grown in the field.
- The crop has excessive growth and a dense canopy.
- Leaf symptoms have been found in the field.
- Disease is present in southern parts of the field.
- Cool, rainy, or cloudy weather with high humidity and heavy dews is predicted during heading.
Diseases can be spread between fields or between seasons if you do not take proper precautions. After harvest, be sure to clean the harvesting equipment to prevent the spread of infected plants.
Some diseases can live on the stubble between seasons and infect a healthy planted crop. In general, plowing after harvest removes stubble that serves as remaining food and shelter for pests, especially insects. In cases where your field was infested, you should remove all stubble from the previous season.
Clean the bunds and patch all rat holes on bunds and around your field. If there are nearby fallow fields or forested areas, you may want to have a community rat control effort or put up trap barriers to keep rats from damaging your crop.
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