But this 280-page book is entirely new. A section on insects, for example, includes dryland pests not mentioned in the first Primer, such as ants, termites, white grubs and root aphids. Information on diseases, nutrient management, and cropping systems of upland rice are also included.
“Almost no simple literature is available on upland rice farming, even though about 40 million farmers grow it on nearly 20 million hectares worldwide,” says Michael A. Arraudeau, co-author of the new Primer with Dr. Benito S. Vergara, IRRI plant breeder who wrote the original Primer.
“Few upland farmers know how to use existing cultural practices to maximize cash returns. Extension workers lack the background to guide them.” Arraudeau states that about 90% of the world’s upland rice farmers grow rice only for their own food. Upland rice farmers can seldom afford fertilizers and other inputs. Yields average only 1 ton per hectare. “But upland rice farmers could harvest a stable 2 tons per hectare by using better cropping practices and improved varieties”, according to Arraudeau.
To prepare the new Primer, IRRI studied the effectiveness of Tagalog and Hiligaynon editions of the original Primer among 84 small-scale farmers in Luzon and Negros. Research results were used to make the Primer more effective. At least 45 editions of the original Primer have been published in 35 languages in 22 countries since its release. Like its predecessor, the Upland Rice Primer is designed for inexpensive copublication. IRRI makes complimentary sets of text-free illustrations available around the world.
To minimize such problems, IRRI encourages farmers to diversify their pest control practices by using Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. IPM is an ecologically based strategy of pest control that brings together varietal pest resistance, preservation and expansion of native predator populations, preventive cultural practices, mechanical controls and minimal pesticide use.
The Illustrated Guide to Integrated Pest Management in Rice in Tropical Asia was written to provide a source book for training extension officers who will, in turn, train farmers to implement appropriate IPM programs. The authors also hope to encourage applied research scientists to develop more effective IPM methods for farmers.
The 411-page book gives practical, comprehensive information for IPM workers in Asia. It includes sections on insect pests and their cultural control, natural enemies of insect pests, biology and management of weeds and riceland rats, disease identification and management, and pesticide safety.
Using more than 2,000 line drawings, this manual maintains the high standards established by IRRI’s series of Farmer’s Primers.
There are more than 100 full- color photos accompanied by 63 drawings which clearly illustrate each beneficial insect predator or pest pathogen. Scientific language has been kept to a minimum to make the descriptions more understandable. Since the first printing in 1987 this guide has been translated into French, Tagalog, Cebuano and Ilokano.
We have two minor criticisms. While the illustrations and photos are excellent, the lack of clear indication of sizes of some of the tiny parasitic wasps may confuse farmers and extension workers. Also, rice is grown around the world, yet there is no explanation of the ranges of the beneficial species mentioned in this handbook. Such oversights notwithstanding, this booklet should prove invaluable as rice farmers and extension officers begin to integrate more biological controls in their pest management strategies.
For ordering information contact:
Communication and Publications Dept.
P.O. Box 933
1611 North Kent St.
Arlington, VA.22209 USA