Battling Brown Plant Hopper – A Guide to Farmers And Agrochemical Dealers:
Rice is the most important staple crop in India feeding more than half of the population of India. Even the wheat-eating parts of India consume rice in some quantities every day. Rice has been a sign of fertility and prosperity in our civilization. In fact, the settlements in the Ganges plain begin their civilization by growing Rice along with other crops. Even today India is the largest exporter of rice in the world. India is the largest exporter of rice accounting for nearly 40% of the total rice exports globally.
India’s rice exports have always shown an upward trajectory. But sustaining this continuous output has been a challenge to the farmers as this tropical crop is vulnerable to many pests and diseases. Timely intervention and correct techniques and treatment are crucial for getting desired yields. This blog gives a study of the most important pests affecting the Rice crops namely, Brown Plant Hopper.
Impact Of Brown Plant Hopper on Rice Crops In India:
The incidence of Brown Plant Hopper is prevalent in all the major rice-growing regions of India like, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and others. These pests can occur both during Kharif and Rabi seasons but are seen to be more prevalent during the Kharif(monsoon) seasons.
In India the crop loss due to BPH is 10% during mild infestation and 70% during severe infestation. There are even reports of 100% crop loss due to very severe infestation of Brown Plant Hopper.
Identification Of The Pests:
The eggs are in groups of 2 to 12 and are white-transparent, slender cylindrical and curved. During the nymph stage, they are cottony white when freshly hatched and turn purple-brown later. The adult pests are yellowish brown to dark brown body with a dull yellowish tinted sub hyaline (glassy transparent) wing.
Symptoms Of Pest Infestation:
- The affected plants are yellowish to brownish in color
- As the pests suck the phloem sap of the plant the plants eventually become dry.
- The infestation spreads and gives a scorched appearance to the rice field.
- The field appears to be yellowish in the beginning stage and later becomes brown colour during severe infestation.
Protection Of Rice Crops Against Brown Plant Hopper:
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices that combine various strategies, including cultural, biological, and chemical control measures, are essential to mitigate the pest’s impact sustainably.
- Early planting: Planting the crop early in the season can avoid the risk of infestation to a great extent. Typically, BPH is known to attack in 1st week of September.
- Proper field sanitization: It is crucial to destroy any residual rice crops to eliminate the hidden breeding grounds.
- Proper drainage: Draining the rice fields for 3-5 days is important during the early infestation stage.
- Avoid excessive usage of nitrogen to mitigate BPH build up
- Use resistant varieties of rice like IR26, IR64, IR36, IR56, IR72, PY 3, CO 42, ADT 35, ADT 37, PTB 33 and PTB 21, Aruna, Kanaka, Karthika, Krishnaveni, Makon, Abhey, Asha and Divya.
- Optimal planting space at roughly about 30cm should be followed.
- Synchronous planting after a fallow period or rest period of 3 weeks enables efficient use of irrigation water and avoids overlapping incidences of insect.
Start with Spraying NEEM SOL (Neem Oil) and then any of the below mentioned insecticides can be used in the given quantity to treat the infestation of rice crops with Brown Plant Hopper. Care should be taken to drain the water before spraying the insecticides and spraying should be done at the base of the plants.
- A1 PRIDE (acetamiprid 20% s.) 20-40 gm/ac
- SHREETHANE (Acephate 75 SP) 400gm/ac
- CLASS (Chlorpyriphos 20 EC) 500ml/ac
- AGENT (Fipronil 0.3%GR) 6.7-10 kg/ac
- REDEEM (Fipronil 5% SC) 400 ml/ac
- SHREE SHOGUN (imidacloprid 17.8% ) 40-50 ml/ac
- Setting up yellow sticky card traps or yellow pans during day time helps in attracting the pests. The pests come into contact with the sticky surface and get trapped.
- Setting up light traps during night can attract the pests. The light traps should not be placed near seed beds or fields. Below the light trap, a tub filled with kerosene should be placed to kill the trapped insects.
- Trap crops like Sesbania or Sunn hemp can be planted to attract the pests. Help from professional agricultural scientist should be taken before implementing this method.
With proper care and intervention at the right time combined with Integrated Pest Management practices we can effectively control and manage the Brown Plant Hopper attack on the rice crops.