Brown planthopper’s deadly attack on rice!

It is said that the word rice is derived from the old French word ‘ris’ which in Untitledturn has its origin Italian, Latin and Greek. Whatever be the origin of the word, it is one of the major staple for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in Asia. It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production, after surgarcane and maize, according to data of FAOSTAT 2012.

Being the major staple food of most of the people, the impact is harder on the population due to the shortage of the rice. One of the dangers that befall the rice food leading to its shortage is attack by pests. Brown planthoper is a major rice downloadpest which causes extensive damage and losses. Being distributed across Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, North and South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam; the brown planthopper causes upto 60% yield loss. Their host plant other than rice is Leersia hexandra. They damage rice directly through feeding and also by transmitting two viruses, rice ragged stunt virus and rise grassy stunt virus.

Adults and nymph suck the phloem sap leading to hopper burn & resulting in imagesdrying of leaves. High infestation causes lodging of the crop and heavy loss in yield. Infestation is severe in high yielding varieties. Under favorable conditions they multiply very fast. Both brown planthopper(BPH) and white backed planthopper(WBPH) are known for their resistance to commonly used insecticides including the neonicotinoids. Hence crop failures due to severe pest outbreaks are very common in many rice-growing tracts of India. Temperature, relative humidity and prevailing wind direction determine the severity of incidence and spread of BPH.

In appearance the adult brown planthopper is Yellowish brown to dark brown in colour measuring 4.5 to 5.0 mm long.

  • High nitrogen levels and close plant spacing, continuous submerged, shady and humid conditions in the field tend to favor the BPH increase.
  • Extensive rice areas with irrigation facilities, multiple rice cropping are important factors for insect abundance.
  • Outbreaks of the insect pests are closely associated with insecticide misuse, especially during the early crop stages. These insecticide sprays usually directed at leaf feeding insects disrupt the natural biological control, which favor the BPH development as secondary pest.
  • The insect prefers rainfed and irrigated wetland fields to upland rice and transplanted fields to direct sown fields.

Let’s take a look at the following article highlighting the damage done by brown planthopper;

Pest attack on aman fields worries farmers

Our Correspondent, Lalmonirhat, Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Farmers in the district are worried as attack on paddy fields by brown plant hopper (BPH), locally known as current poka, poses threat to their hope for a good yield of aman this season.

Agriculture officials claim the situation is now under control while the farmers said the use of pesticides has failed to check the pest attack.

Farmers said BPH started attacking aman plants a week ago and many aman paddy fields in the district have already been attacked. They are trying to save their aman plants from being attacked by BPH, using natural methods and spraying pesticides in the fields.

Nurul Islam Bappi, a farmer of Durakuti village in Sadar upazila, said his aman plants on two bighas of land have been attacked by BPH (current poka) and it is also attacking the plants on another two bighas of land. “I have been spraying pesticides in the fields for the last three days, but to no effect,” he said.

Abdul Jalil of Jumma Para village in the upazila said BPH attacked aman plants on his three bighas of land five days ago and wreaked havoc on 50 percent plants. “As per advice of local agriculture officer, I sprayed pesticides that yielded no positive results,” he said.

Contacted, Deputy Director Safayet Hossain of the Department of Agriculture Extension in Lalmonirhat, said the situation is ‘not so alarming’. Agriculture officials are working at field level and giving advice to the farmers about use of pesticides and other methods to combat the PBH disease, he added.

Using conventional toxic pesticides will not be effective as the brown planthopper has become resilient to them. Pesticides are toxic, hazardous and pollute the environment. So a solution has to be adopted which have the traits exactly opposite to the deadly pesticides.

C-Tech Corporation provides a solution for the hopeful farmers to protect their crops effectively and efficiently. Termirepel™ a non-toxic, non-hazardous and environment friendly product repels all kinds of insects, termites, pests. They can be incorporated in agricultural films, mulches and irrigation pipes to protect the crops from the vicious pests. The product is available in the form masterbatch as well as liquid solution and is compatible with most the base polymers. The most important quality of the product is that it does not kill the target species but repels them.  Using Termirepel™ will ensure that the crops are protected which gives a ray of hope for the problem of malnourishment.