Nguyen Huu Huan, Deputy Director General
Plant Protection Department
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
In the Spring 2010 rice crop season, rice production in Thai Binh province, about 120 km southeast from Hanoi, was badly infected by virus diseases. About 18,000 ha were reported affected and about 1,000 ha badly destroyed according to Vietnam News.
Many of the rice plants show typical symptoms, like wrinkled leaves (picture above). Planthopper population in the area is very low or negligible, probably because farmers have been spraying their field heavily. It does not seem evident that these symptoms were that of the new Southern Rice Black Streak Dwarf Virus (SRBSDV) transmitted by the white back planthopper (WBPH), but this needed to be confirmed. A team of scientists from China, Vietnam and IRRI will visit the areas in April to investigate the problem.
As of 31 March, 2010, plants exhibiting typical virus symptoms are found in 24 other provinces totaling about 21,000 ha from Quang Ngai to the Red River Delta.