Planthoppers belong to the order Homoptera. There are many species of Planthoppers which are distinguished based on their physical appearance. Brown Planthopper, one such type of hopper is considered to a massive destructor of Rice fields. The insect breed is indigenous to East Asia and found spread in some parts of western countries. Paddy fields are very sensitive when there is any insect attack and the infestation can extend drastically throughout the field within a short span of time. Brown Planthoppers are considered to a serious pest by farmers dependent on Rice as it has the probability of causing severe plague in Rice plants, and it is tough to control the population of the nymphs of Brown Planthopper. When the population of this insect is huge, there will be complete sequential destruction of Rice varieties in the field which may be characterized by drying of crops and withering of shoots and this condition in the Rice field is termed as “hopperburn”. Rice Brown hoppers not only infest the plant directly but also transmit plant pathogenic viruses like “Grassy stunt virus” and “Ragged stunt virus” in several rice varieties.
Some of the distinctive actions of brown plant hoppers include a decrease in leaf area, the chlorophyll amount and eventually the rate of plant photosynthesis. To overcome the attack of this insect it is necessary to make sure that the insect is withheld from the crop area. First step to reduce the number of brown hopper will be proper identification of the adult insect between the plants. This insect has a special habit of laying eggs within the rice seed bed itself and mostly farmers fail to notice the eggs before transferring it to the field which serves the main reason for the hoppers to invade into the field. The susceptibility of Rice varieties is experienced on the eventual development of the nymphs. Brown Planthoppers expect wet and humid conditions to prevail for their multiplication. Moreover, less spacing of crops and high nitrogen level can be an added advantage for the insect to proliferate. Farmers have to make sure that these conditions do not prevail in the farm.
Identification is followed using effective insecticide in the farm. Biological insecticide like OMRI or EPA certified Neem oil can be the best product for controlling Rice Brown Planthoppers. It has been advised to use Neem kernel extract and Neem oil in combination to reduce the nymph as well as the adult population of the hoppers. Before spraying of neem oil proper spacing of crops should be done. Alternative measures to control brown Planthoppers will be the promotion of beneficial insect breeds like Water Bugs, Mirid Bugs, Dragonflies, Lady Bugs, Praying mantis, etc. and use of Hopper resistive Rice variety.
Author: Adam Teaser - neem
The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Plasma Power Private Limited. Reproduction of the articles does not in anyway form an endorsement