Patrick Garcia and K.L. Heong
International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Philippines
In 2009, there were numerous reports of planthopper and virus disease outbreaks in Asia’s rice production areas. These outbreaks are shown in the map above. We have not received any report from Laos, Japan, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka. In some countries, there is under reporting or reports are not released.
The most significant outbreaks caused by the planthoppers were in Central Thailand, Northern Vietnam, and Yunnan province, China. Rice production in Thailand suffered one of the biggest losses they have ever experienced. At least 1.1 million tons paddy or export potential of US$ 275 million was reported lost as the government announce a revision of Thailand’s rice output forecasts by about 16% from 8.3 to 7.0 million tons in January 2010 (https://ricehoppers.net/2010/01/28/thailand-cuts-second-crop-rice-output-forecasts-by-16-because-of-bph-and-water-shortage/ ). In addition, the Thai Government spent about US$ 80 million in compensations, campaigns and pesticide distributions (https://ricehoppers.net/2010/02/10/thai-government-to-provide-b2bn-to-compensate-farmers-hit-by-bph/ ). The planthopper problem seemed to have worsened in the first quarter of 2010 with larges areas in Suphan Buri completed destroyed by the virus diseases. In March, the Rice Department launched another campaign to motivate farmers to plow in their infested fields and stop growing rice for one season.
In Northern Vietnam, a new virus disease transmitted by the white back planthopper (WBPH) surfaced (https://ricehoppers.net/2009/11/03/new-virus-carried-by-wbph-becoming-wide-spread-in-hybrid-rice/ ). Discovered in China in 2005, the Southern Rice Black Streak Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV) was found in most provinces in the Red River Delta and spreading South to Central Vietnam. In China the virus is now endemic in most of the southern provinces, like Hainan, Guangdong, Yunnan and Fujian. IRRI initiated the formation of the China-IRRI-Vietnam rice virus consortium to focus research to gain better understanding of this new problem (https://ricehoppers.net/2010/01/08/consortium-initiated-to-research-on-new-virus-disease-southern-rice-black-streak-dwarf-virus/ ). Monitoring and research activities in Northern and Central Vietnam have been initiated by the National Institute of Plant Protection (NIPP) and Plant Protection Department (PPD) and coordinated by the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS).
In Yunnan, China, young rice crops were badly destroyed by theWBPH. This was reported to have affected most of the Southern districts of Yunnan (https://ricehoppers.net/2009/08/18/yunnan-china-infested-by-the-white-backed-planthoppers-wbph/ ). The crop destruction seemed to be caused by massive displacements of the adult hoppers from areas with very high WBPH populations, possibly the northern provinces of Vietnam. This clearly shows that for such mobile pests, like planthoppers, international cooperation is essential for management.