Rats in rice: Linking crop and pest models to explore management strategies

Brown, Peter R., Nguyen, Thi My Phung and Gaydon, Donald S. (2011) Rats in rice: Linking crop and pest models to explore management strategies. Wildlife Research, 38 7: 560-567. doi:10.1071/WR10194

Author Brown, Peter R.
Nguyen, Thi My Phung
Gaydon, Donald S.
Title Rats in rice: Linking crop and pest models to explore management strategies
Journal name Wildlife Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1035-3712
Publication date 2011-11-30
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/WR10194
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 38
Issue 7
Start page 560
End page 567
Total pages 8
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Context: Rodents cause yield losses of 10–15% in irrigated lowland rice crops in Vietnam, with farmers spending a lot of time and money trying to control them. Despite this, there is little understanding about the optimal timing of rodent control and the level of reduction required to maximise rice crop yields. This is compounded by the ability of rice crops to compensate for damage, and farmers applying control at the wrong time.

We explored the optimal timing and intensity of rodent control required to increase yields of irrigated lowland rice crops in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

Methods: We developed a system analysis framework using the rice model APSIM-Oryza validated against a hand-clipped field experiment, linked with a rodent population model and field data on rodent damage rates in rice crops. A range of intensities of reduced feeding rates and timing were explored in simulated scenarios. The responses were examined over three rice crop seasons in An Giang province, Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

Key results: The rice crop model was benchmarked, validated and shown to adequately compensate for rodent damage. Highest yield losses occurred in the third rice crop (16% yield loss). A one-off rodent control action at the booting stage of the rice crop with 50% control effectiveness achieved a 5% yield increase. The community trap barrier system (CTBS) with 30% control effectiveness achieved a 5% yield increase.

Conclusions: The modelling demonstrated the importance of rodent management timing and that control should be applied before the onset of the rodent breeding season, which normally starts at maximum tillering or booting stages.

We conclude that modelling can improve pest management decisions by optimising timing and level of effectiveness to achieve yield increases.
Keyword APSIM-Oryza
Irrigated lowland rice
Ricefield rats
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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