How to manage pests and diseases

growth-diseases-2Farmers lose an estimated average of 37% of their rice crop to pests and diseases every year. In addition to good crop management, timely and accurate diagnosis can significantly reduce losses. If you are facing a problem in your crop and need help with diagnosis, seek advice from a professional or use the Rice Doctor.

rd-logo-thumbIf you have a problem in your field and you're not sure what it is, go to the Rice Doctor

Crop problems can be caused by other living organisms, like rats and fungus, or by non-living factors, such as wind, water, temperature, radiation, and soil acidity.

The best control for pests and disease problems is prevention. To limit pest and disease damage:

Rats

Rats

In Asia, rats cause an average of 5−10% loss in rice yield every year. Rats breed at an alarming rate when food is abundant. One female rat can produce 35 rats in a season. Rat management is critical before the breeding cycle, otherwise, the population can explode and yields will be greatly reduced.   

Insects

Insects

More than 100 species of insects are considered pests in rice production systems globally, but only about 20 species cause significant economic damage. The recommended control of insect pests is to develop and follow an Integrated Pest Management plan.

Diseases

Diseases

Disease damage to rice can greatly reduce yield. They are mainly caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Planting a resistant variety is the simplest and, often, the most cost effective management for diseases. 

Golden Apple Snail

Golden Apple Snail

The golden apple snail was introduced into Asia during the 1980s from South America as a potential food for people. Unfortunately, the golden apple snail has become a major pest of rice having spread to the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Birds

Birds

Birds are considered to be a pest of rice but little is known about exactly how much damage is caused by birds. Only a few species of birds are grain eaters and others eat insects, worms, or snails. 

Nematodes

Nematodes

Nematodes such as the root-knot nematode infect plant roots, causing root knot galls that drains the plant's photosynthate and nutrients. It can even cause complete yield loss.