After you make your rice variety and hybrid rice selections, one of the next decisions a producer has to make is what seed treatments you are going to put on the seed. As you know, blackbirds can be a serious problem here in Louisiana, especially in early planted rice. In fact, a flock of blackbirds can devour a freshly seeded rice field in a matter of hours. Fortunately, we do have one seed treatment that can be used to discourage feeding on rice seed by blackbirds.
The product is AV-1011™, a bird repellent made by Arkion Life Sciences. It is a liquid seed treatment that can be applied to rice seed at your local seed distributor. The active ingredient in AV-1011 is anthraquinone. The chemical is non-lethal to the birds and is actually found in 94 known plant species. When a bird eats a treated seed, it gives them digestive distress, and this is what deters them from eating more seed.
Over the past several years we have had to apply to the EPA for a section 18 (emergency exemption) for AV-1011 use on rice (on a limited number of acres) here in Louisiana. Last year the EPA did not grant the section 18 until the third week of March.
If you remember, the third week of March was the first time that many producers were able to get into rice fields for planting. This caused problems because if you wanted your seed treated with AV-1011 you had to wait in line for several days. In some cases, it began to rain again before some producers received the treated seed they ordered. In other cases, some producers opted to take a chance and not treat their seed.
I am happy to announce that this year AV-1011 has been granted a “conditional” registration under section 3(c)(7) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by the EPA. The conditional registration was issued on January 5, 2016, and will expire on January 5, 2018. If you are like me, I was not familiar with the “conditional” registration. In general, if the EPA finds that a pesticide meets the standard for registration, but there are outstanding data requirements, the agency may grant a “conditional” registration. In the case of AV-1011, the missing data is one final trial that needs to be conducted and the company has two years to get it done. Based on the outcome of this trial, AV-1011 could receive a full federal label (Section 3).
The suggested retail cost of AV-1011 is $204.50 per gallon. AV-1011 is recommended at 18.29 fluid ounces per 100 pounds of seed. Therefore, if you are planting at a 25, 50, or 90 pound per acre seeding rate, it will cost you approximately $7.30, $14.61, or 26.29, respectively. The AV-1011 label, safety data sheet (SDS), and suggested price sheet are posted on the AgCenter’s rice webpage and can be accessed directly with the following hyperlinks: label, SDS, price sheet.