Principal Entomologist, Directorate of Rice Research
Rice planthoppers, BPH and WBPH, had caused extensive damage in India during 2008 wet and dry season, especially in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Program initiated the pest surveillance activity which is being coordinated by the Directorate of Rice Research in Hyderabad. In the surveillance rice entomologists stationed in over 60 rice research stations conduct field surveys on fortnightly and report on pest incidences, control measures taken by the farmers and advice given by the local authorities. These reports are summarized and placed on the DRR website.
From the reports, planthopper problems in India this year seem less severe than in 2008. Several local outbreaks had been reported as in the map above.
In August, WBPH damages were reported in 2 villages in Haryana, Fatehgarh in Ambala district and Sirsal in district Kaithal. A rice hybrid variety, PHB77 and another inbred variety, PR114 were damaged. In October, BPH caused severe damages in Hybrid PA 6444 (3acres) in Balchhappar Village in Block Mustafabad of Yamunanagar district.
In September, severe damages due to WBPH and BPH populations were reported in two districts of Karnataka, Uttar Kannada and Haveri. About 4,000 ha of rice were destroyed. Rice varieties grown were Doddaga (local variety), Abhilash, MTU 1010 and MTU 1001. High populations of BPH was also recorded in varieties BPT 5204, MTU 1010 in Ranga Reddy districts of Andhra Pradesh. Moderately high densities of BPH and WBPH were found in a few areas of Warangal district during October.
In late October high densities of BPH was reported from the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Orissa, but there were no reports of severe damages.
The prevalence of drought conditions in June and July and consequent delay in transplanting of rice might have been the influencing factors on pest buildup this year.