PhilRice provides guidance in managing common rice diseases 

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ (PIA) — The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) has provided guidance in managing common rice diseases.

This is in line with the agency’s PalayCheck System, specifically Key Check 7, which focuses on pest control in rice fields, as well as on rice disease management to prevent significant yield loss.

PhilRice Crop Protection Division Science Research Specialist Salvacion Santiago said the common rice diseases include bacterial leaf blight, bacterial leaf streak, rice blast, sheath blight, sheath rot, and tungro

She emphasized that these diseases are among the factors contributing to challenges in increasing rice production.

“When we experience crop losses, they are often caused by diseases. So, it is very important that we know what to do so that we can effectively address the issue and provide appropriate solutions,” Santiago added.

As such, PhilRice provided general recommendations for managing rice diseases.

First, farmers are advised to use high-quality rice seeds as the primary defense against diseases.

They are likewise encouraged to plant rice varieties that are resistant to diseases. 

Santiago underscored that farmers should consider planting suitable and resilient varieties based on local conditions in their respective areas.

Additionally, maintaining the health of rice crops through timely and proper care plays a significant role in disease management. 

“Early intervention allows for immediate solutions. Problems can be solved early when we intervene promptly,” Santiago reiterated.

Moreover, farmers are urged to avoid excessive application of fertilizers, particularly nitrogen. 

Santiago advised them to follow the recommended application rate of fertilizers to avoid overuse.

Another recommended method is to remove weeds in the fields, which serve as breeding grounds for various pests. 

Furthermore, allowing the soil to rest through a fallow period is highly recommended. 

“Similar to humans needing rest, giving the soil adequate time to rejuvenate helps maintain its quality and reduces disease risks,” Santiago pressed.

Finally, after harvest, farmers are suggested to plow and dry the fields to minimize disease transmission to the next planting cycle and maintain soil health. 

Santiago highlighted that it is necessary to plow and dry the fields after harvest if a high infection rate is observed to prevent the recurrence of those organisms during the next planting season.

By following these recommendations, farmers can sustain the health and productivity of their rice crops amidst disease challenges.

For additional information, farmers may contact the PhilRice text center hotline at 0917-111-7423 or visit the official website at www.philrice.gov.ph. (CLJD/MAECR-PIA 3)

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