LUBUK BASUNG, RADARSUMBAR.COM – The attack of planthoppers is one of the obstacles for farmers in increasing rice production, it can even cause crop failure if handled late. In fact, in Agam Regency itself, an area of 227 hectares (ha) of community rice fields was affected by this planthopper attack, which was recorded from January to June 2021.
“Based on the report from the Plant Destruction Organism Control (POPT) officer, the number is spread across several sub-districts in Agam,” said Head of the Agam Agriculture Service, Arief Restu, Monday (16/8/2021) quoted from AMC.
He detailed that this planthopper attack occurred in Tanjung Mutiara sub-district covering an area of 27 ha, Ampek Nagari 50 ha and the widest in Lubuk Basung sub-district of 150 ha. “Although it has not yet reached the puso level or harvest failure, it has an impact on decreasing our rice production in Agam Regency,” he said.
Anticipating this, the Agam Agriculture Service collaborated with the West Sumatra Food Crops and Horticulture Protection Agency to carry out a Control Movement (Gerdal) in several paddy fields belonging to the Laweh Nagari Lubuk Basung Farmer’s Group, and the Sri Antokan Nagari Garagahan Farmer’s Group, Lubuk Basung District, Friday (13/8/2021).
“The area of attack by planthoppers in the two groups reached 2.25 ha, with an area of threatened and possibly attacked by 26 hectares,” said Arief Restu.
Arief explained that pest control through Gerdal cannot be total, so it needs to be carried out regularly and continuously. Then balanced with natural control and prevention, by planting refugia plants around rice fields as natural enemies of planthoppers.
In addition, to break the chain of planthopper pests, apart from continuing to provide counseling on understanding the dangers of pest attacks, he also appealed to farmers to replace rice varieties with superior seeds that are resistant to these pests.
“Replacing varieties that are resistant to leafhopper attacks is the most appropriate way to do so, so as not to be attacked by pests again. If not, then every year farmers’ rice will continue to be threatened by planthopper attacks,” he explained.
Arief admitted that he had conveyed to all ranks of officers to be more intensive in carrying out observation activities, being alert and moving quickly to take pest control actions as soon as possible. “The effort was made so that the incidence of pest attacks, such as this brown planthopper, does not spread and disrupt our rice production,” he explained. (rdr)