Sleeve and large field cage experiments were conducted in Stoneville, MS, in 2010 and 2011 to assess adult rice stink bug, Oebalus pugnax (F.), injury in rice. ‘Cocodrie' and ‘Wells' were infested at bloom, milk, and soft dough stages of panicle development. Twenty rice panicles were infested individually in the sleeve cage experiment as replicates with 0, 1, or 2 O. pugnax in a split-plot, completely randomized design. The large cage experiment had four replications infested with 9 or 18 O. pugnax per square meter over multiple rice panicles in a split-plot, randomized complete block design per cultivar. Caged uninfested controls were included in each experiment. Rough rice yield and percentage of clean, damaged, and blank kernels were evaluated. In both experiments, stage of panicle development impacted grain yield and quality. Yield loss was greatest during the bloom stage, while kernel damage was greatest during the milk and soft dough stages. Rice yield decreased with increased infestation density. Kernel damage increased with increased infestation density. Blank kernels affect yield, while kernel damage affects grain quality. While grain yield is the bottom line, grain quality affects marketability, which directly affects yield profitability. Based on these results, this study considers O. pugnax injury significant in all three stages of panicle development and concludes that a more aggressive threshold is recommended from panicle emergence through soft dough. More research is needed to determine the specific threshold, but it appears to be lower than the current threshold of 5 per 10 sweeps.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4