Paddy under pest attack in Kuttanad

Attack by pests rice thrips and stem borer on paddy crops has been reported from places such as Thakazhi, Champakulam, and Veeyapuram in Kuttanad.

The rice thrips attack was noticed nearly a week ago and the pest has been spreading to new areas, threatening the crop in its early stage of growth.

Infestation reported

Officials with the Rice Research Station, Moncompu, said infestation of rice thrips was reported from paddy fields which had witnessed delayed sowing.

“The rice thrips attack has been reported from fields where sowing was carried out as late as December 15. Stem borer attack was also reported from a few places. However, there is no need to panic,” said an official.

Thrips causes leaf curling and discoloration.

Stem borers can destroy rice at any stage of the plant’s growth from seedling to maturity.

They attack tillers, leading to drying of the central tiller during vegetative stage and cause whiteheads at reproductive stage.


Agriculture Department officials said directions had been issued to agricultural officers to curb the spread of pests.

The department is also helping the farmers in pest management and preventive measures. Farmers have been asked to use biopesticides to control pests.

The department is reaching out to farmers through campaigns, community radio, etc.

They will help farmers implement automation in spraying operations, popularisation of seed drum, production of biopesticides, biofertilizers and biocontrol agents, tricho cards, drones and light traps.

Climate change

Officials say one of the main causes for increase in pest attack is climate change and warn that damage could be massive in future.

Daily monitoring and implementation of preventive measures are needed to avert the attack, they add.

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 2:29:13 pm |