IRRI has just published a new book on rice planthoppers, entitled “Planthoppers – new threats to the sustainability of intensive rice production systems in Asia”. All the 19 chapters in the book are available here in separate pdfs for downloading.
In the last 5 years, rice planthoppers have become serious pests of rice in Asia and threats to sustainable intensification of rice production. Besides causing direct damages to rice crops, the three main pest species transmit 4 virus diseases that have been causing huge crop losses in China, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and several SE Asian countries
Planthoppers have posed similar threats to rice production in the 1970s and 1980s and have since remained relatively unimportant pests for the last 20 years. The present revisit of pests known to be induced by the 1st Green Revolution is a wake up call for new thinking and approaches that are needed for sustainable intensification of global agriculture. In the last 5 years a new virus transmitted by the white back planthopper has been identified and it is spreading in south China and northern Vietnam. A consortium has been formed to fast track research to learn about the disease.
The book begins with an extensive chapter describing the taxonomy, biology and keys to the 65 species of planthopper and important natural enemies associated with them in rice ecosystems. Chapters discussing gaps in our current understanding of planthopper-rice relationships, host plant resistance, ecological relationships that cause outbreaks and insecticide resistance outline new research opportunities. New thinking and approaches towards the development of more sustainable strategies are discussed in chapters on ecosystem services, ecological engineering approaches and the changing trends in farmers’ discontinuance of IPM practices.