An IRRI Seminar
By Adam Sparks
Scientist (plant disease management)
Crop and Environmental Sciences Division
International Rice Research Institute
1315-1415 H, Thursday, 9 May 2013
Havener Auditorium, IRRI
Diseases, animal pests, and other scourges adversely affect rice yields globally. At IRRI, we conduct research at many scales—from individual genes to whole rice fields in various countries—to develop and improve pest management strategies and improve yield.
When we begin tailoring rice varieties as well as best management practices at IRRI, we need to understand the scale at which we are working, the production situation and environment in our target locations, and how these affect the rice crop.
In my work, I gather information on rice production situations; climate; injuries caused by animal pests, diseases, and weeds; and yield using several approaches. These include in silico modeling and GIS, research in the laboratory, epidemiological experiments in the screenhouse, on-farm trials, and surveys of farmers’ fields. I synthesize data collected through all these approaches to derive integrated recommendations for better rice crop health for a wide range of end users. These recommendations range from identifying stress-prone areas for research priorities or targeted deployment of resistant or tolerant rice varieties to providing farmers with recommendations for pest management.