The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) yesterday announced the deployment of a team of extension officers to investigate reports that “worms” have infected the roots of rice plants in some villages in Berbice, which is expecting a bumper harvest for the first crop this year.
The GRDB said unverified reports have so far indicated that worms have affected the yields of rice ready for harvest in the villages, which are located along the Corentyne coast.
Over the next few days, a GRDB statement explained, extension officers, headed by Entomologist Dr. Vivien Baharally, of the research station at Burma, Mahaicony, will be investigating the reported sightings of the worms, with a view to identifying and recommending methods of control.
It was noted that last month farmers of Number 63 to Number 68 villages, Corentyne, had reported an invasion of the plant hopper, a known pest of rice and had been advised on methods of control. The extension officers have verified the presence of the plant hoppers in Number 63 to Number 68 villages, and have recommended measures of control using systemic insecticides, the statement added.
The GRDB advised farmers to rotate the use of insecticides if more than one application is required. It said too that farmers may also contact the respective extension officers for advice on issues of control of the plant hopper.
Meanwhile, it also called for farmers in all rice growing regions of the country to report any issues affecting rice production in their areas to the respective extension officers of the GRDB.