Japanese Consumers Have High Standards for Rice Quality Making Insecticide Use Necessary

Damaged Rice

Damaged Rice

Rice Bug

Rice Bug

The feeding of rice bugs on rice plants results in black marks on the rice grains. Japanese consumers demand perfect rice, which means that farmers must prevent the insects from feeding.

“A complex of Hemiptera, commonly referred to as rice bugs, are considered to be important insect pests in rice-growing regions of the world. Many species of Hemiptera, from families including Alydidae, Pentatomidae, Coreidae, and Miridae, have been reported as rice bugs.”

“Rice bugs cause yield loss, decrease the quality of grain, and reduce the germination rate. Among these problems, decrease in the quality of grain is considered to be the most important problem in Japanese rice. Infestations cause brown or black marks on the grain. Contamination of as little as 0.1% of such stained grain has reduced commercial value according to Japanese rice quality regulations, and thus the economic injury level is very low. This has led rice farmers to a dependence on insecticide use for rice bug control.”

Authors: H. Takeuchi1,2 and T. Watanabe1
Affiliation: 1Department of Entomology and Nematology, National Agricultural Research Center, Tsukuba, Japan; 2National Agricultural Research Center for Kyushu Okinawa Region, Kumamoto, Japan.
Title: Mortality factors of eggs of Leptocorisa chinensis (Hemiptera: Alydidae) in rice fields.
Publication: Journal of Economic Entomology. 2006. 99(2):366-372.

Herbicides Have Helped Stabilize Wheat Production in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan ranks in the top 10-15 wheat-producing countries in the world depending on weather conditions (drought is a significant factor 2 out of 5 years). Kazakhstan is a major exporter of wheat with about 4 million tons exported annually. Weeds are a key limiting factor in Kazakhstan’s wheat production; however, recent increases in herbicide use have significantly reduced yield losses.

“Although weather remains the single most important determinant for grain yield in Kazakhstan, improvements in crop management practices fueled by the growing State subsidies have contributed to the recent increase and relative stabilization in wheat yield.”

“According to specialists at the Ministry of Agriculture, nearly half the total cultivated area in Kazakhstan is infested with weeds, including 2.5 million hectares infested with black oats. Between 1999 and 2002, farmers applied virtually no herbicides for the control of black oats on approximately 320,000 hectares. In 2003, treatment expanded to 1.0 million hectares thanks to government subsidies of about US$2 million which reduced farmers’ cost of chemicals by 30 to 40 percent. Herbicide subsidies increased to nearly US$3 million in 2004 and the treated area grew to about 1.4 million hectares. Specialists report that weed infestation has decreased by about 15 percent every year since the anti-black oat campaign was launched.”

Author: Mark Lindeman
Affiliation: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Title: Kazakhstan Wheat Production: An Overview
Available at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/pecad2/highlights/2005/03/Kazakh_Ag/index.htm

Australian Grains Council Extols Importance of Pesticides

Australia’s Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) is one of the world’s leading grains research organizations, responsible for overseeing R&D that deliver improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry. Recently, draft legislation concerning regulation of agricultural and veterinary (Agvet) chemicals in Australia was circulated for comment. The Grains Council weighed in with their view on how important these chemicals are…

“The Australian grains industry is heavily dependent on the efficient use of pesticides in maintaining productivity and profitability.”

“Access to a wide range of effective, safe Agvet chemicals is crucial to maintaining the productivity, sustainability and international competitiveness of many farming systems. Australia’s biosecurity depends on access to a diversity of pesticides and a responsive regulatory system.”

Author: J. Harvey
Affiliation: Grains Research & Development Corporation
Source: Comments in relation to GRDC research delivery under the draft Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendment (Agvet) Bill. February 28, 2012