The Ricehoppers blog was initiated in December 2008 as a platform for sharing knowledge on issues and developing sustainable ways to manage rice planthoppers. The niche blog is part of a collaborative research network with national scientists in Asia co-funded by IRRI and ADB. Visitors to the blog have now surpassed 10,000.
Rice planthoppers continue to be problematic, especially in intensive rice production areas because it is a pest that is induced when ecosystem services are compromised. Planthopper outbreaks are thus indicators of unsustainable practices. The most recent reports of outbreaks are from China (Hainan, Yunnan), Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam.
The search for sustainable ways to manage these problems is now along several fronts. First is to identify genes and develop rice varieties that will have sustainable resistance to planthoppers. Second is to develop ecological engineering methods that will restore and enhance important ecosystem services to provide adequate crop health. Third is to understand farmers’ decision making and to develop communication strategies to motivate policy decision makers and farmers to adopt sustainable practices.
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