Armyworm Scouting for Rice Producers
UC farm advisors in Northern California have been hard at work in recent weeks monitoring for armyworm, a perennial pest for rice producers. Luis Espino is a rice farm advisor for Butte and Glenn counties. He says early indications are that armyworm populations are down this year.
Espino… “They fly into the rice area. They lay their eggs in different weeds in levies around rice fields. And then the worms move into the rice fields, and those are the ones that start feeding on the rice and defoliate the rice. So usually we track every year for the past few years, the moth flight, and we see that about this time a year is where we have the peak in the number of moths.”
Espino says this is the time when PCAs need to be out scouting and making sure they’re not getting any defoliation.
Espino… “Usually above this time, we're at 25 to 30 moths per night. That's an average for the whole valley. Right now, we're at about five to six months per night. And if the trend continues from last week, the numbers were starting to go down. So, you know, we're checking the trucks this week. The numbers might go down indicating that the peak already passed.”
Espino says so far this low number of moths is consistent with what they’re seeing in the field, with not much worm injury so far.