Last week we were called to a hybrid rice field where there were issues with stand loss. We could not determine any specific cause, but did note the presence of thrips on nearly every plant. While the number was fairly large there presence was not especially alarming to me because I have always seen them on seedling rice. The field was treated with Dermacor which is not expected to control thrips. We also suspected some seedling disease. In the past we planted at high enough seeding rates to compensate for seedling loss, but the low seeding rates of hybrids magnifies any stand loss. Without a definitive cause we could only make a couple of suggestions; apply an insecticide or add some starter nitrogen. I followed up with the farmer who said he chose to add starter fertilizer and while the stand is still thin the seedlings are growing better. Nearby crawfish ponds may have had some influence on the decision.