Ludhiana: As per the survey conducted by the scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), incidence of rice plant hoppers has been observed in some farmers’ fields.
This was disclosed by Dr R.S. Gill, Head, Department of Entomology, PAU. It may be mentioned that in Punjab, white backed and brown plant hoppers are commonly prevalent plant hoppers. These plant hoppers feed at the base of plants and are often overlooked. Both nymphs and adults of these pests suck cell sap from the leaf and leaf sheath during these months. The severely attacked rice plants ultimately dry up, on which a sooty mould appears. The crop dries up in patches. These dried up patches of the crop are called ‘hopper burn’. As the plants dry up, the hoppers migrate to the adjoining plants and in few days, the areas of dry patches enlarge.
Dr Gill has advised regular monitoring of rice fields for these plant hoppers. For monitoring, few plants in the field should be slightly tilted and tapped 2-3 times at the base. If a minimum of 5 hoppers per hill are seen floating on water, the crop should be sprayed with any of the recommended insecticides viz.
Synthetic pyrethroids (cypermethrin, lambdacyhalothrin, deltamethrin etc) should not be used on rice/basmati rice as these insecticides increase the population of plant hoppers.
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