Non-chemical Pest Management in Paddy An experience

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1 -chemical Pest Management in Paddy An experience D. Balaraju, M.Sc.,(Ag.) Training Associate-Plant Protection, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Yagantipalle In Kurnool district, paddy is cultivated in an area of 1,00,000 ha annually. The variety BPT 5204 occupies majority of the area, the produce of which is very popular for consumption. In recent times, use of pesticides in paddy has increased so heavily that the cost of crop protection is escalating year by year and is ranging from Rs.2500 to Rs.4000 per hectare, which is around 15 to 20% of total cost of production. But, the pests still cause considerable loss in yield. When the farmers were asked to inquire into the reasons, they expressed that due to decrease in number of natural enemies like Spiders, Beetles and Dragonflies, pest numbers have increased in recent years, and causing damage to crop. They admit that indiscriminate use of pesticides kill many natural enemies than the pests, but still not willing to lessen the pesticide use, for the fear of further fall in yields. The affinity to adopt high external input based production practices, is attributed to ready suggestions & availability of material and credit from pesticide dealers, attractive selling efforts (field v isits) of representativ es of Pesticide companies and experience sharing by fellow farmers. Department of Agriculture is propagating concepts like IPM & INM for reducing the dependency of farmers on external inputs since a long time. But, not much progress is made for the reason that one to one contacts & constant rapport were not maintained, which the trade & industry is adopting. Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Yagantipalle is an ICAR funded Farm Science Center working for the cause of farmers and is working in the district since Natural methods and botanical extracts are being used in agriculture for pest and disease management of various crops by v arious farmers here and there in the country, with varied lev els of success. But, the aggregate success registered in -chemical Pest Managemet by farmers of Kosigi and Punukula in the state is convincing and set as an example for all future adoptors. We too were conv inced, and wanted to try it with the farmers of Kurnool through IKP, with the support of SERP. As part of scaling up in the district, we took up the programme in 22 v illages of 3 mandals, with around 1000 farmers and in 1800 acres, cov ering Redgram, Paddy and Bengalgram. But, of the three crops, we were very much conv inced with the results in Paddy. The details of in paddy were as under. 1

2 Methodology adopted for in Paddy : Awareness on Pesticidal Management methods, success stories of Kosigi and Punukula farmers, use of locally av ailable materials like Neem, Dung-urine, Chilli-garlic, Asafoetida, Maredu leaves etc. was created. In each village a village activ ist was identified to help implement. Interested farmers names were registered by VA and registration fee of Rs.30/- per acre was collected and remitted with Village Organisation. In each v illage, farmers meetings were conducted for in depth discussions of various methods to follow for managing pest and disease problems in paddy. Village activ ist helped farmers in identifying the problems, analyzing the causes, taking correctiv e measures and preparing various extracts to apply. Scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, v isited fields on regular basis and trained Activ ists and Farmers in correct identification of pests, natural enemies, symptoms of pests and diseases, stages, pre disposin g causes for occurance of problems, methods to be adopted for managing these problems etc. Prov ided suggestions and clarified doubts of activ ists and farmers as and when they arised. Village activ ists maintained track of all the activities taken up by registered farmers and updated them from time to time of actions to be taken, on examining the crop pest situation on one to one basis. Problems and Solutions in Paddy : Nursery : Problem 1 : Observ ed yellowing and drying of tips in paddy nursery of days old (Pic.1). Judged as deficient of Secondary nutrients like Ferrous and Micro nutrients like Zn. The problem was sev ere in Rabi-05. Pic.1: Fe & B deficiency in Paddy nursery Solution : Fermented Cattle dung + Urine extract sprayed along with 2g/lt. Repeated spraying in places where the symptoms were sev ere. One spraying of 5% is giv en to ward off sucking insects and adults of leaf folder and stem borer, if any as precaution. Result : Very good recov ery obtained within 5-7 days. Main field : Problem 2 : Leaf Folder : From around 30 DAT, small adult moths (Silver shine, cross wav y bands of golden yellow on both wings) observ ed mov ing in the crop just at the level and inside the canopy, in few to large numbers. 2

3 White elongated scraped areas observ ed on leaf blade (Pic.2). The light greenish larva, folded two edges of blades together by silken threades, remained inside feeding the green matter through scrapping. Pic.2 : White scrapping on leaf Towards the grain maturation stage, reddish brown pupal stages observ ed floating in water or found at the base of hills. Solution : Sprayed Cattle dung + Urine extract at 30 DAS followed by NSK extract to ward off adult moths from laying eggs. Spray repeated until adults activ ity is reduced to 1 or 2 / m 2. Sprayed Chilli-garlic extract only in one case where, leaf folder larvae were found at 4-5/hill, after drawing a rope ov er the field, to dislodge the larvae. This is followed by NSKE spray. Result : Good reduction in adult numbers observ ed with dung+urine and Neem extract spraying. Compared to non- fields, relativ ely few leav es were damaged. With Chilli-garlic extract spray, only few larvae were found killed, less efficient than chemical spraying. Problem 3 : Stem Borer : Yellow winged (with small dark spot on forewings) adult moths seen (Pic.4) wandering in the field from 60 DAT. Dusty brown egg masses (Pic. 3) are observ ed on the tips of the leaf blades. Pic 3 : Egg mass of Stem borer 3

4 Dead hearts (Pic.6) (dried main leaf of tillers) were observ ed, the shoots of which were bored at the base by white larvae. The larvae (Pic. 5) remain inside the shoot and feed the inner contents in upward direction. Finally, the larva comes out of the shoot from top of the tiller. After panicle emergence, the damaged tillers produced white ear heads, with chaffy grains. Pic 4 : Adult moth Stem borer Solution : For av oiding moths from laying eggs, Dung + Urine extract and NSKE were sprayed early in the crop period. NSKE is repeated at 15 days interv al, which was useful in reducing the infestation. In one case, light trap was arranged to trap the moths in the field. Pic 5 : Larv ae of Stem borer. In the fields with dead hearts and white ear heads, Neem 1.5 lt + 25 kg/ac. is spread in the field after reducing the water lev el, to av oid mov ement of the larv ae from one tiller to other. Pic 6 : Dead heart symptom Result : Good control in number of moths in the field is observ ed with NSKE and Dung+Urine spray. Only few moths were trapped in the light trap. With application of Neem oil mixed with sand, smell of neem remained in the field for around 5 days and it is reported that no further damage of tillers was observ ed. The larvae in damaged tillers seen aliv e, but in Carbofuron granule applied fields of farmers, some larvae were seen killed inside the tillers. 4

5 Problem 4 : Brown Plant Hopper : Attack of BPH is seen in the crop from 60 DAT. Severe infestation of BPH is observ ed after Panicle Emergence in few fields at Alamuru and Konidedu during Kharif 05. The adult and nymphal stages of BPH (Pic.7) were observ ed in the hills near the water lev el. As these BPH suck sap from the tillers, they became yellowish to brownish in colour completely dried like straw, dev italizing the tillers. In sev ere cases, the hopper burn (a circle of in fected hills in the field) symptoms were observ ed. Pic. 7 : BPH adults and Nymphs Solution : The spraying of NSKE for leaf folders and stem borers helped to minimize BPH development in the fields. In severe cases, Neem lt + Sand 25 kg/ac were mixed and spread in the field after reducing the water lev el. It is left as it is for 36 hours till next irrigation. Result : Spraying of NSKE at regular intervals helped in reduced number of BPH adults and nymphs in plots that non fields. When the Neem Oil mixed with sand is applied, the oil spread on the water and surrounded the hills after its application. On second day when irrigation is giv en, BPH adults and nymphs were seen dead and floating in water and coming out of field with water flow. Further spread of BPH was clearly controlled with 2 nd application after 7 days of 1 st application. The result is more conv incing than Imidacloprid sprayed fields. Problem 5 : Blast : The blast disease was observed towards the end of Kharif season and during Rabi season. In Kharif paddy, spindle shaped spots were observ ed on leaves after Panicle emergence. Then neck blast symptoms were observ ed in the same fields after days of 1 st appearance of spots. Pic. 8 : Leaf Blast symptoms in paddy 5

6 Solution : Cattle dung + Urine extract is sprayed from 20 DAT with days interval or after ev ery NSKE spray for healthier growth of the crop and to impart natural resistance to diseases. NSKE sprayed for insect pests also to some extent checked the disease dev elopment. Pic. 9 : Neck Blast symptom in paddy After PI stage when initials of blast disease were observ ed, Dung (5 kg) + Urine (5 lt) + Asafoetida (200 g) extract was sprayed in one acre. It is repeated after one week, when the cloudy weather and Low night temperatures still prevailed. When the blast spots were observ ed in sev ere form near the borders, Pseudomonas florescense is 2.5 g/lt water. It is repeated after 10 days. In one particular case, where sev ere blast is observ ed in Rabi, apart from the above, one spray of Maredu leaf extract (5 kg Boiled in 5 lt water and filtered) is taken up along with Dung + Urine + Asafoetida. Result : In the fields where Dung + Urine extract is regularly sprayed, incidence is relativ ely lower. Asafoetida mixed Dung Urine extract spray could have delayed incidence of blast and reduced the percent of incidence too. When Pseudomonas is sprayed, it is felt that it might have stopped the disease from spreading further. The situation is on par with other fields where one to two sprayes of Tricyclazole and Hinosan were applied for blast. Cost economics of and Paddy farmers : Sl. No. Village Farmers - Area (ac) Cost of Plant Protection (Rs./ac) Yield (qtl/ac) 1 Arlagadda Durvesi Bhupanapadu Alamuru Konidedu Pany am TOTAL / Avg

7 Impact : During Kharif 2005, in paddy was taken up in 6 v illages of 2 mandals in Kurnool district. It was successfully implemented by 57 farmers in 71 acres. On an average there was a saving of Rs. 800/- per acre in cost of plant protection compared to non farmers. In yields, farmers got additional yield of around 150 kg/ac, which may be attributed to increased number of natural enemy populations in the Rice Ecosystem that has happened due to continuous monitoring and timely interv entions. In monetary terms, a net extra benefit of Rs.1850/- per acre was made by farmers compared to non farmers. The has got replicated in much larger area during Rabi 2005, the results of which are due for compilation. 7

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