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Incidence of mealybug on rice crop in Assam

Mealybug {Brevennia rehi (Lindinger)} is a pest of upland rice in Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. However, its incidence is rarely observed in the north eastern states. During the first fortnight of September, 2014, isolated patches of yellowish stunted plants were noticed on varieties - Aijong (Mahsuri), Ranjit and Baismuthi near village Alagjar in Baksa district of Assam. Close observation revealed presence of mealybugs on leaves and culms of rice plants. Both nymphs and adults of mealybug were located at leaf bases and underside of leaf sheaths. Its infestation caused yellowing, curling and wilting of leaves and stunting of plants. Yellow patches of around 3' to 8' in diameter and scattered at distance of 1 to 15 metres from each other in an area of around 15 ha was found. Dry spell might have favoured the population buildup of mealybug in the area. Similar yellow, stunted patches in winter rice crop due to mealybug infestation were observed in Darrang and Udalguri district of Assam during 2013 too.

Kanchan Saikia and K B Pun

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