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Control of paddy stem borers by cultural practices

Control of paddy stem borers by cultural practices

Proceedings of a symposium on the major insect pest of the rice plant, 14-18 September, 1964, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines 369-387

In countries where rice is the staple food, where the paddy is not rotated with other food or cash crops, and where facilities exist, 2 crops of paddy will continue to be raised. Here, crop rotation has little influence in controlling the ricestem borer. Generally, the 2nd crop of paddy is attacked more heavily than the 1st. Techniques should be developed for raising a trap crop to intercept the flow of moths from the 1st crop to the 2nd. The broadcast crop is less heavily attacked than the transplanted crop, but transplanting gives a higher yield. It is necessary to evolve methods of improving the yields in broadcast rice on a par with the transplanted by reducing seed rate and ensuring uniform spacing, at the same time maintaining low infestation. Shifting the dates of sowing in order to minimize borer damage has yielded good results in India, Japan, Java, and Malaya. Safe periods for sowing are enforced by legislation in areas where research has progressed. More severe damage to paddy has been found in clay soil than in sandy soil. Rice grown in water-logged and saline areas is more subject to borer attack. Application of N fertilizers induces luxuriant growth, which, in turn, makes the crop more susceptible to the rice stem borer. The borer larvae left in the stubble are known to be the chief source of infestation for the succeeding crop, and several methods have been advocated for their destruction. Harvesting of paddy as close to the soil as possible has been found effective, but it seldom is possible, because hired labor usually is employed for harvest. Moreover, the luxuriant growth of the crop in the alluvial soils, with their slushy condition, more particularly in the delta areas, affords less scope for harvesting paddy close to the soil. Burning of stubble is not helpful unless preceded by uprooting. Flooding the stubble, together with dragging, is a good method of control, but can be adopted only in areas where adequate water, even after the crop season, is available. Destroying the stubble by uprooting or plowing and exposing it to the sun is laborious. The finding that the application of small dosages of calcium cyanamide accelerates the rotting of stubble and thus reduces the density of the borer population in subsequent years is important. It is necessary to develop chemicals that cause the stubble to rot early. Spraying with some such chemical may be an easy and effective method of destroying rice stem borers in stubble.

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