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Division of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology
3
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    ABSTRACT: This study involves the application of a random-effects double-hurdle model to survey data to identify the farm-level factors affecting the adoption and intensity of herbicide use in rice production in the Philippines. Results broadly indicate apparent differences in the degree to which important explanatory variables affect the intensity and adoption decisions. The age of the farmer, household size, and irrigation are the significant predictors influencing the decision of farmers to use herbicides, while economic variables such as the price of herbicides, total income of farmers, and the use of bank loans or credit are the highly significant factors determining the intensity of herbicide use. Significant determinants of both the adoption and intensity decisions are land ownership, farm area, and the method of crop establishment used. Results suggest that all of the identified significant predictors in both herbicide use decisions can be considered by the national government when designing policies to reduce excessive use of herbicides or to encourage the adoption of alternative methods of weed control. This is important because for small rice producers, like the majority of Filipino farmers, improved weed management techniques that build on their traditional practices and that are compatible with their resources will be more easily adopted by farmers, relative to those that require radical change to the entire farming system.
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    ABSTRACT: A survey of 150 rice farmers in three municipalities of the Ifugao Rice Terraces, Philippines, carried out in June 1998, aimed to assess the farmers' knowledge, attitudes, and practices of rice crop and pest management. The survey revealed that: 54% of the farmers fall within a narrow age range (31-50 years), the majority having 11-30 years of rice farming experience; they are of average literacy; and they have large households. Non-farm activity such as woodcarving was the most common source of additional income. The majority of farmers planted a single crop of rice per year and followed traditional cultivation practices. Major rice crop production constraints were drought due to the El Nino phenomenon and insufficient irrigation infrastructure. Zinc deficiency was widespread. Major, non-insect pests known to farmers were earthworms, rats, golden apple snails, and house sparrows. These pests damage either the rice plant or the terrace wall. Earthworm damage to the terrace wall is most obvious. Farmers had very little exposure to integrated pest management and new rice technologies.
    International Journal of Pest Management 11/2010; 46(1):43-48. DOI:10.1080/096708700227561
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    ABSTRACT: 1. Fallowing, a type of rotation where no crop is grown, deprives insect pests of food. In tropical irrigated rice, it is not known whether fallow periods deplete natural enemy populations and reduce their pest control effectiveness in post-fallow crops. We tested the null hypothesis that small-scale synchronous cropping (embedded in asynchronously planted rice landscapes) does not significantly increase pest densities during post-fallow periods in the presence of a large, diverse natural enemy complex undisrupted by insecticides. We tested this null hypothesis by comparing the invertebrate fauna before and after fallowing. 2. In six molluscicide-only fields at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in southern Luzon and at Zaragoza in central Luzon, Philippines, canopy and floodwater invertebrates were vacuum-sampled over two cropping seasons, dry and wet. 3. Thirty-three of the ubiquitous common taxa dominated the samples in both seasons at each site. Most species were natural enemies of rice pests and recyclers of organic matter in the floodwater and waterlogged sediments; some were rice pests. 4. Fallowing depleted populations of more ubiquitous taxa at Zaragoza (four natural enemies, one detritivore) than at IRRI (one herbivore, one natural enemy). At both sites, only green leafhoppers, Nephotettix virescens and Nephotettix nigropictus, had consistently higher post-fallow densities than pre-fallow densities. 5. At both sites, fallowing did not affect rice-invertebrate faunas differently between seasons with regard to community structure, trajectories and accumulation rates of guild members. 6. Synthesis and applications. In tropical irrigated rice fields, small-scale synchronous fallowing combined with low-pesticide inputs and pest-resistant rice varieties did not induce pest outbreaks or notably diminish populations of natural enemies when embedded in asynchronous cropping on larger, regional scales. Our results suggest that small-scale synchronous fallowing, when embedded in asynchronously planted landscapes, does little harm to biological regulation of the invertebrate faunal community and may be adopted as part of integrated pest management when it serves other purposes.
    Journal of Applied Ecology 06/2010; 47(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2010.01799.x

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