Planthopper outbreaks in 2009

In the last 8 months I have received reports from various sources and have personally seen some planthopper outbreaks in rice production areas. Some of them are posted in Ricehoppers, while others were sent to me via email. 

Precise data on the extent of occurrence, damage, loss and impact on farmers remains scarce.  I have plotted some of these reports onto a map of Asia with some notes. I have not received reports from many countries, like India, Mynmar, Laos, Japan and Taiwan, which can mean that there are no planthopper problems there.

In some countries, there is under reporting or reports are not released. As reports become available, the map and the table will be updated. There was a news item in Vientianne News about a green leaf hopper outbreak which I suspect was caused by planthoppers and not leaf hoppers.

I have received informal reports that hopper burn is abundant in Guangdong and Hubei but these are not confirmed. (Table 1).

In Thailand, the planthopper problem occurred in 16 provinces and a total of about  172,000 ha were affected. This prompted the Rice Department to organize an information campaign.

Based on historical records, planthopper problems are usually worse in the months of October, November, December and January if the weather conditions are favorable.  

The reports received so far might be indications of more serious problems ahead as most of these intensely cultivated areas tend to have low ecosystem services.


Distribution of hopperburn areas reported between January and August 2009.

Table 1: Rice planthopper outbreaks reports – January to August 2009




Malaysia, Tg Karang

Dec 2008

High chemical inputs. Nitrogen exceed 200 kg/hae and insecticides are applied routinely at least 5 times a season. Hopperburn from a multi-location breeding trial. All the hybrid lines were very badly affected. Insecticides were applied weekly, total 10 sprays. Insecticides used included imidachlorprid, fipronil, and thiamethoxam (actara).

Malaysia, Muda area

Jan 2009

More than 200 ha of rice field in northern part of Malaysia are seriously infested with hopperburn. About 400 farmers directly affected and their plight has been highlighted on TV and newspapers.

Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Jan 2009

In Tan Tru district, Long An province, Mr Chien reported numerous rice fields destroyed by planthoppers. Farmers used 10 insecticide applications: one seed treatment, one granular application and 8 sprays. Broad spectrum pyrethroid, organo phosphates among others have been used in mixtures.

Philippines. St Cruz Laguna

March 09

ybrid rice. More than 60 hectares of rice farms in the village PSBRc18. Some fields SL-7. Mixtures of chlorpyrifos and BPMC used 5 times.


March 09

Planthopper outbreaks in 13 out of 64 districts. Large numbers of WBPH. Covered by TV. Minister of agriculture expressed concern.

Red River Delta, Vietnam

March 09

Hopperburn caused by WBPH on hybrid rice reported by PPD. Large areas in Nghe An and around Hanoi infested by virus diseases vectorsed by BPH.

Yunnan, China

March/April 09

Planthopper immigrants in March caused damages to seedling in Yunnan. 99% were WBPH. 56 counties in the southern part of Yunnan (close to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand) infested. Total area about 6 millions Mu (~ 400,000 ha). Highest density 525 hoppers per hill.

Hainan Island, China


Patches of hopperburn observed in hybrid seed production fields sprayed 8 times with imidacloprid. Many farmers’ field with low insecticide use seems to have minimal planthoppers.

South Korea

June 09

Abnormally high numbers of sBPH caught in traps in southern part of Korea.

Zhejiang, China

June – Aug 09

Areas with large populations of sBPH reported by Professor Cheng. This might be the source of the abnormal numbers recorded in Korea.Patches of hopperburn appearing in part of Zhejiang, like Jin Hua, Jia Xing and Huzhou.

Guangdong, China

June-July 09

Plant protection officials provided informal reports of large patches of hopper burn in various parts of the province.

Hanoi, Vietnam

June 09

Scientists report presence of the sBPH, which occur only in temperate regions in the Red River Delta.

Can Tho, VietnamVinh Long, Hau Giang, An Giang

June 09June 09

Swarms of BPH in Can Tho City. Mr Pham Van Quynh, director of the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, reported BPH parks, playing grounds and streets in the city.


Aug 09

4,500 ha of rice crops in seedling stages in Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Kandal and Takeo provinces near the Cambodian-Vietnamese border attacked. Report from Phnom Penh Post.

Thailand, Suphan Buri, Chainat, Nakornsawan, Ang-thongSuphanburi







Chaiyaphum, Saraburi, Lopburi

Khon-kaen, Tak,

Nakhorn nayok, Nan, Prajuab kirikhant

July/Aug 09

7,000 ha infested with high populations and 135 ha totally destroyed in the Suphan Buri, Ang Thong and Chainat provinces initially reported.

Another 13 provinces found to have hopperburn and total area about 1,072,300 rai or 171,568 ha.(1 rai=1600sq.m).



Report of damages by green and brown hoppers.

Punjab, India


Hopperburn reports unconfirmed

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