Planthopper Management in Paddy: Symptoms, Treatment, Chemical, Biological, Natural, and Organic Control

Planthoppers are insects in the Delphacidae family that are considered major pests in rice agriculture. They feed on the sap of rice plants, causing harm to the leaves and stems and reducing crop development and output. Planthoppers are also known to act as vectors for plant virus transmission, resulting in further agricultural yield losses. Because of their remarkable mobility and ability to quickly adapt to changing environmental conditions.

Rice is a staple diet for many people worldwide, accounting for half of the world’s daily caloric consumption. India is one of the world’s top rice producers, with approximately 43 million hectares dedicated to rice farming. However, during crop phases, Indian rice growers confront various obstacles, primarily from insect pests that cause severe crop damage. Let’s check out more information on Planthopper management in Paddy farming below.

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Planthopper Management in Paddy

Planthopper management in Paddy

Types of Planthopper that infect Paddy crop

Rice is infested by two species of planthopper. These are the white-backed planthopper (WBPH), Sogatella furcifera, and the brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens (Stal) (Horvath). One of India’s biggest problems facing rice farmers is the brown planthopper.

The life cycle of Brown Planthopper

Females deposit eggs in masses on the midrib of the leaf blades, and the eggs hatch in 4 to 8 days. Nymphs emerge and begin feeding on young leaves, becoming adults in 2 to 3 weeks after multiple molts. The brown planthopper’s life cycle can last 18 to 24 days in the summer, 38 to 44 days in the winter, and 18 to 35 days in the spring. The existence of both long-winged and short-winged forms complicates the treatment of this insect, which can significantly reduce rice production.

Impact of Brown Planthopper

Both nymphs and adults can cause heavy infestations, leading plants to dry up and have a scorched appearance, a condition known as hopper burn. Causing crop drying and yellow to brownish patches on the field. Low infestation levels can cause diminished plant vigor, reduced plant height, and stunted growth. BPH can also spread rice Ragged Stunt and Rice Grassy Stunt.

Factors favoring population increase in Brown Planthopper in the field

The brown planthopper thrives in environments with high humidity, ideal temperature, high nitrogen fertilizer, and no wind conditions, which helps rapid population growth.

Identification of Brown Planthopper in Rice field

Several visible signs indicate the presence of the brown planthopper in rice crops. 

  • Crescent-shaped white eggs placed into the midrib or leaf sheath, white to brown nymphs, and brown or white adults feeding around the base of tillers. 
  • A brown planthopper infestation can also be indicated by hopper burn or yellowing, browning, and drying of the plant, as ovipositional marks that expose the plant to fungal and bacterial infections.
  • The presence of honeydew and sooty molds in infected areas and plants with a ragged stunt or grassy stunt virus disease.

Damage symptoms of Brown Planthopper in Rice field