Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Rice Pests Return Causes More Losses

BHP Infested Ricefield. Losses have already amounted to Php17.87 million

The Philippines has suffered damages to its rice crop amounting to Php17.87 million currently. This was caused by the re-emergence of the Brown PlantHopper (BPH).

Last experienced in 2015, the BPH infestation called hopperburn has affected 4,000 hectares of ricefields in Samar. This worse than what was experienced last 2015 since the area now covered by the infestation is much larger than the nine provinces that experienced the hopperburn infestation in 2015 wherein 9 provinces were affected.

Currently, hopperburn has infested 18 provinces and has grown three times than the 2015 infestation.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary has voiced concern for the return of hopperburn. This was disclosed during the forum held at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel PiƱol expressed concern over the re-emergence of BPH.

This has caused losses to farmers and the agriculture sector mentioned is distressed.

BPH also spreads viruses that causes rice ragged stunt and rice grassy stunt. BHP attacks the lower stalks that causes the leaves to turn brown and the rice husks have nothing inside them.

Current pesticides in use have detrimental effects since these pesticides also kill the natural predators of BPH. “Instead of reducing BPH infestation, heavy pesticide use can kill the natural enemies of BPH and allow them to multiply and destroy crops without let-up,” the DA Secretary disclosed.

The DA secretary assured farmers that the DA is closely monitoring the situation and that efforts are being made to mitigate and alleviate the effects of the infestation.

The Acting Executive Director of PhilRice,  Sailila Abdula explained that BPH causes extensive sap loss owing to its feeding on the basal (lower) portion of the rice plant, resulting in drying or hopperburn.

“Farmers should be equipped with proper and timely interventions on how to handle pest management,” Abdula disclosed.

About the Author

The Mail Man

Author & Editor - The Philippines' Web Magazine on Agriculture.

Post a Comment


Copyright © 2015 Agriculture Philippines ™ is a registered trademark.

Designed by Templateism . Hosted on Blogger Platform.