Paddy bug infestation affecting region two farmers; GRDB monitoring situation
By Royan Abrams
Paddy bug infestation continues to plague rice farmers in Region two.
During a meeting between farmers and officials from the Region Two Democratic Council, the farmers noted that the infestation continues to hamper the production of paddy in the region.
The farmers said this is another challenge that can lead to further crisis in the Rice industry,which is already struggling.
In response to the pleas of the rice farmers, the Regional Chairman sent an email to the Minister of Agriculture seeking his timely intervention.
While officials of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) are currently visiting the region to provide technical support and make observations, farmers are asking for more than technical support. They highlighted the cost of insecticide to be one of the constraints.
The GRDB in a statement on Wednesday said the agency’s extension officers conduct intense visits to fields, where they monitor the paddy bug to ensure that the situation remains under control.
It was noted that an advisory was also placed on the local television station about the current situation from July 29 to August 4, while outreach meetings were held in the different districts so as to better sensitize farmers to the situation and the best practices for control.
Recommended chemicals to control and get rid of paddy-bug infestation such as Pronto, Fastac/Bestac, Flip and Ninja were also discussed.
The GRDB has advised that to control the paddy bug, remove alternative food sources such as, birdseed grass, schoonord grass, red rice and volunteer or drop seed rice; determine the need to spray by monitoring with a sweep-net and spray if the number of bugs caught, are 25 or more in a total of 50 sweeps.
Additionally, at the flowering stage, farmers should monitor their fields daily and early in the morning if they are to acquire optimum required results. In the past, farmers who have disregarded the advice of the GRDB are the ones faced with losses as a result of paddy bug or low production levels.
Here are a few tips to control paddy-bug infestation:
- For extended crop protection during grain development, use systemic insecticides such as Pronto, Relevo, Actara, etc (formulations containing Imidacloprid or Thiamethoxam).
- Mix the insecticide as follows: Fill the motor blower halfway with water. If insecticide is a powder or granule, then dissolve the recommended rate in a bucket before adding it to the half-filled blower. If the insecticide is a liquid, then add the recommended rate directly into the half-filled blower. Shake the half-filled blower containing water and insecticide. Add water to the blower up to the 13-litre mark, and then shake again.
- The mixture is now ready to be sprayed. Determine the swath (spray) width based on the wind direction (spray downwind) and speed. Ensure overlap of the spray mixture for best results (If the spray mixtures do not overlap, the bugs will thrive in the unsprayed areas. They will continue to feed and multiply).
- Insecticide application should be carried out early in the morning (before 8:00 am) or late in the afternoon (after 3:30 pm); especially during flowering and overlap of the spray mixture should be ensured for best results.
Additionally, farmers must be attired with the proper protective gear when applying the insecticides.