Silicon amendments may provide sustainable control for rice water weevil

A Masters student at Louisiana State University is seeking a more sustainable way to manage rice water weevil, by amending soils with silicon to strengthen the plant. He is also this year’s winner of the Friends of Southern IPM Graduate Student award in the Masters category.

Rice water weevil is a tiny insect that feeds on the rice plant’s leaves as an adult. After mating, females lay their eggs at the base of the plant. Larvae feed on the roots. The larval feeding on the roots potentially interferes with the nutrient uptake, thereby, weakening the plant. Root damage can cause yield losses through decreasing panicle densities, number of grains, and grain weight. Rice growers use insecticides to control rice water weevil. Continue reading