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Duck Injury to Water Seeded Rice

Duck Injury to Water Seeded Rice published on No Comments on Duck Injury to Water Seeded Rice

As I mentioned last week, ducks have been doing quite a bit of damage in water seeded rice in south Louisiana.  Some farmers who have a lifetime of experience in lower Vermilion parish have told me they have never seen Teal down here this late and in these numbers.  In our verification field pictured below it was a mixture of Teal and Black Bellied Whistling Ducks.  After publishing last week’s Field Notes I was contacted by personnel at the USDA/APHIS Animal Damage Control office in Crowley.  They wanted to know about the Black Bellied Whistlers because they too have noted a huge increase in their numbers this year.

The left most photograph shows an overall view of the field.  The areas that appear to be clear water are slightly deeper (very slightly) areas that the ducks found more attractive.  There is some rice remaining as can be seen in the second photograph which can be compared the third photograph of the green areas.  The grower applied Avipel treated seed after last week’s visit and that seemed to run the ducks out.  Others have told me it did not deter Teal.  Reports are fairly constant that the product definitely works on blackbirds.

It was too late to start over.  We will just have to live with the situation and hope some of the seed treated with Avipel add a little to the stand

close up of area not affected by duck feeding
close up of area not affected by duck feeding

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close up of area affected by duck feeding
close up of area affected by duck feeding
water seeded rice field showing stand loss from duck feeding
water seeded rice field showing stand loss from duck feedingclose up of area affected by duck feeding
Remnants of duck feeding on rice seedlings

Duck Damage in Water Seeded Rice

Duck Damage in Water Seeded Rice published on No Comments on Duck Damage in Water Seeded Rice

Our verification field in Vermilion parish is presenting several problems which will make for an interesting and challenging year.  It is a field with a history of Newpath resistant rice, both red and outcrosses.  It was left fallow last year and plowed several times.  This year we water seeded Cheniere.  As many farmers are experiencing this year, water seeded fields are being decimated by ducks.  Most of the farmers I have talked to say Teal are the primary problem, but in our field it is Black Bellied Whistling ducks.  I have never seen that many together.  Wednesday morning there were well in excess of 100 in a 40 acre block.  Any ridge or edge of the field has accumulated the evidence of their feeding as can be seen in the accompanying photograph.  One farmer told us that he cannot keep his propane guns going because neighbors turn them off at night.

Remnants of duck feeding on rice seedlings
Remnants of duck feeding on rice seedlings