Panaji, Sep 21 (UNI) Agroscientists today alerted the farmers about the spread of ''traces'' of the deadly brown pest on crops in South Goa's Cansaulim area.
The farmers, expecting bumper crop of paddy following regular rainfall this season, were advised to use pesticide sprays for crop in milk/grain formation stage, but not on crop due for harvesting within the next 10-12 days.
The brown plant hopper is a dangerous pest affecting paddy during its grain formation and crop maturity stage. It occurs in a severe form in closely spaced, low-lying fields with prolonged standing water, excessive nitrogen use and insusceptible varies like Jaya and Pusa Basmati.
Cloudy weather and rainfall during grain formation/filling stage are favourable for its outbreak. Brownish grey adult hoppers and nymphs are found in clusters sucking the plant sap at the base of paddy plants just above the water level, the department had cautioned.
Affected paddy clumps start turning yellow and later dry and appear brown in circular patches called ''hopper burn''.
The authorities, in a communique, had advised the farmers to avail of the 50 per cent subsidy on purchase of pesticides for immediate treatment of the dreaded pest to save the crop.