M.M. Escalada, Visayas State University, Leyte, Philippines
Narisara Jumroonwong, Chainat Rice Research Center
Manit Luecha, Chainat Rice Seed Center, Chainat, Thailand
Khun Sanai Sunthon, 51, who lives in Bangrachan, Sing Buri province, has been getting a good income of about US$ 13,000 per season from the 66 rai (10.6 ha) she cultivated. However her last season crop was heavily attacked by BPH and she had a deficit of US$5400 instead. She tried to protect her crop by spraying insecticides at 20 days after sowing and repeatedly for 10 times spending more than US$1000. In each spray she mixed a variety of insecticides that included abamectin, BPMC, buprofezin and ethiprole that were advised and recommended by the local pesticide retailer.
The recent planthopper outbreaks in Central Thailand are causing hardship to hundreds of farmers. Not only had they lost their crop and the main source of income, they had spent thousands buying pesticides. Like Khun Sanai, many farmers had relied on the advice of pesticide retailers and some insecticides they had used had resurgence properties that make their rice field more vulnerable (https://ricehoppers.net/2010/01/17/farmers%e2%80%99-insecticide-selections-might-have-made-their-farms-vulnerable-to-hopperburn-in-chainat-thailand/ . Both retailers and farmers are not aware that many insecticides have destructive properties that can cause pests such as planthoppers to resurge and become more explosive. Prophylactic applications had been the norm and spraying “for protection” usually started very early in the season. It has been shown that early season spraying makes rice fields 10 times more vulnerable to hopper attacks (https://ricehoppers.net/2009/09/13/farms-that-apply-insecticides-for-leaf-folder-control-are-10-times-more-at-risk-to-hopperburn/ ).
Khun Sanai is lucky because she has her savings to absorb her loss unlike many others who had to rely on bank loans or credit from the retailers.