california rice

Grower Collaborators Needed for Rice Research Projects

Brian GermanField & Row Crops, Industry

Researchers with the UC Cooperative Extension are asking farmers and industry members to help with current rice research projects involving watergrass resistance and tadpole shrimp. 

Rice Research Projects

Tadpole shrimp lay eggs in soil and hatch when the soil is prepared for seeding by floods. The wet atmosphere and new seedlings are the ideal habitat for tadpole shrimp to feast on the roots of developing rice plants, becoming a very challenging pest for farmers. 

Ian Grettenberger, a researcher in the UC Davis Department of Entomology & Nematology, needs soil samples from rice fields to hatch the shrimp eggs, specifically testing management approaches to control pest populations. 

For the watergrass resistance research, conducted by rice farm advisor Whitney Brim-DeForest, she is seeking collaboration with farmers regarding their use of herbicides on the weed and the efficacy of those techniques. “We have had widespread resistance in our watergrass species for little over 20 years now, and with Propanil, it’s been working quite well,” she said.  

Because of the dependence on Propanil to treat watergrass, Brim-DeForest is looking to develop a post-emergent foliar spray that can be supplemented with Propanil to preserve its effectiveness. 

“I’m afraid that if it’s the only thing that we’re using, we may end up seeing more and more resistance, and then we won’t have anything left,” she said. 

One of the alternatives Brim-DeForest is developing is tank mixes, which she has worked on for several years. “I’m testing in grower fields to make sure that we can see if it’s working out in the field with resistant bio types,” said Brim-DeForest. 

“We just want to preserve all the chemistries that we have because it takes a long time to get new products to market,” she said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll have some products coming for watergrass control.” 

Both Grettenberger and Brim-DeForest are seeking collaborators to help with the rice research projects so that new methods can be applied in farming operations. 

Contributing Author:
Lauren McEwen
AgNet West Intern