The rice water weevil, Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel, is the most important economic pest of rice in the United States with the ability to substantially reduce rice yields. Stem borers, including the Mexican rice borer, Eoreuma loftini (Dyar), are emerging as more consistent pests in Louisiana and Texas, but the relationship between blanked panicles (whiteheads) caused by stem borer feeding and yield loss is not well understood. A series of field trials was conducted in Louisiana from 2019 to 2020 to determine the relative yield loss by manipulating infestations of both pests with selective insecticides. Results indicate losses from L. oryzophilus infestations are greater than those for E. loftini in early planted rice. In contrast, relative yield losses were approximately equal in later planted rice in 2019, in which E. loftini infestations were high. Additive impacts of the root-feeding L. oryzophilus and the stem-feeding E. loftini were not observed in our study. Linear regression revealed that each increase of one whitehead per square meter is associated with a 1.7% loss in yield. Results from ratoon rice suggest that protection from L. oryzophilus in the main crop also improves yield in the second crop. Collectively, results demonstrate the continued need for effective L. oryzophilus management programs to prevent economic losses. Conversely, findings suggest that benefits of E. loftini control may be minimal in many instances. Control of E. loftini is most likely to be economical under conditions where high populations are anticipated such as in late-planted fields or regions that previously had high infestations.
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Vol. 114 • No. 3