Farmers worried over brown planthopper infestation

Farmers worried over brown planthopper infestation

Paddy farmers in Dakshina Kannada are worried over the loss of crops due to brown planthopper affecting paddy crops. PTI file photo

Paddy farmers in Dakshina Kannada are worried over the loss of crops due to brown planthopper affecting paddy crops.

Paddy cultivated at Beluvai, Dharegudde, Kellaputhige, Neriya, Kashipatna, Kemaru, Kollur near Kinnigoli, Badaga Belluru and other areas are infested by brown planthoppers.

Farmers said that even after spraying insecticides, the pests could not be controlled. The recent rainfall has resulted in the outbreak of the pests.

Anticipating good crops during rabi season, the farmers had applied fertilisers to their crops. Now, they are worried over losing their crops. The pest causes the crops to dry and thus results in less yield.

“We expected a good yield. Now we do not know how to meet the expenditure we have incurred,” said a farmer.

Speaking to DH, an Agricultural Scientist with the KVK, Harish Shenoy said, “Brown planthopper is a pest that feeds on paddy plants. It sucks the sap of the plant. The affected plants wilt and turn brown as if it has been burnt by fire. The outbreak of the pest was first reported in Karkala during the season. Later, it began to spread to Moodbidri, Belthangady and Bantwal areas."

"A team of experts including myself have examined the pest-infested paddy fields in different parts of the district and suggested remedial measures," said Shenoy.

The farmers have been asked to take measures to control the attack of brown planthopper in the paddy fields.

“The pest sucks juice from the plant and injects its saliva. Nymphal and winged forms of the pest were found in the paddy fields,” said Shenoy.

He said water should be drained from the affected paddy field. The winged form of the pest is attracted to bright light. Hence, fires should be lit at dusk in affected fields. The farmers should spray a mixture of 1 gram of acephate mixed in one litre of water along with 0.5 ml DDVP on the affected field for the immediate control of the pest. The pest attacks the roots and stem of the paddy. Farmers should spray the core area near the shoots of the crop after draining the field, he added.

He appealed to the farmers to spray only those insecticides that have been recommended by the department officials. Further, he said that farmers should be cautious and continuously monitor the crops to check the infestation.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha Hasiru Sene organising secretary Manohar Shetty N said the government should announce compensation for the loss of paddy on the model of fruit rot disease affecting arecanut.

Farmers are under loss after having spent so much for the Rabi sowing (Kolake Saaguvali in local language) this year. The farmers are incurring losses after the paddy was infested with brown planthoppers, he added.