Pest menace in agricultural sector is one of the most significant issues today in India which needs to be addressed immediately. Apart from unpredictable rains, droughts and natural disasters insects are also the major contributors in lowering the agricultural yield every year. The damages can be categorized into two types, pre-harvest damages and post-harvest damages. Harvest and post-harvest loss of India’s major agricultural produce is estimated at Rs 92,651crore ($13 billion) according to data published by the Ministry of food processing industries on August9, 2016. The loss is almost three times as high as the budget for the agriculture sector.
They will infest any premises; refuse tips, farms, rural dwellings and watercourses that provide food and shelter.
Rat populations have been rising steadily during the past 30 years, with premises in rural areas twice as likely to be infested as urban dwellings. Warmer winters have allowed rats to survive and to breed for longer periods. In some localities there may also be control difficulties due to resistance to the early anti-coagulant rodenticides, such as warfarin.
Another possible cause of higher rat numbers in rural areas is the fact that stubble burning is no longer practiced and this leaves food in the fields for rats, such as spilled cereal grains.
Rats will travel to find food, water, shelter and a mate. This might be more than two miles a night in the countryside and at certain times of the year when immediate food supplies are not available or weather conditions are harsh.
The degree of movement can be an important factor in the spread of problems associated with rats – namely health problems, contamination and wastage and damage to property, equipment and materials.
The demand for high quality food and concern for the health and safety of farm employees and livestock make these problems highly significant and enforce the need for proper control. Lack of effective crop protection measures during the pre-harvest stages causes various types of pest and rusts to damage the quantity and quality of the crop. Improper storage and handling during the post-harvest period are the major reasons for the damages caused by rodents and insects in agriculture.
The quantitative loss is caused by the reduction in weight due to factors such as spillage and consumption by pest. The qualitative loss can occur due to incidence of insect pest, mites, rodents and birds, or from handling, physical changes or chemical changes in fat, carbohydrates and protein, and by contamination of mycotoxins, pesticide residues, insect fragments, or excreta of rodents and birds and their dead bodies. When this qualitative deterioration makes food unfit for human consumption and is rejected, this contributes to food loss.
Rodents as a part of their oral maintenance constantly gnaw on the various polymeric applications used in agriculture like agricultural films, storage bags, mulches, and even the drip irrigation pipes and tubing.
Apart from damaging the agricultural business they also carry some 45 diseases and are capable of contaminating farm feed and water supplies helping to spread disease from contaminated to uncontaminated areas and from animal to animal. Many of these diseases are harmful to livestock and humans.
Signs that rodents are present where grains are stored include:
- faeces droppings;
- runs and tracks (dark, greasy stains) that can be found along the base of walls, fences or across rubble;
- footprints and tail marks in the dust;
- urine traces, which are fluorescent in ultraviolet light;
- chewed grain kernels and gnaw marks on sacks, doors, cables and other materials; and
- Nests in corners or roof areas or burrows just outside the building.
- Rodents thrive in places where there is a sufficient food supply, protected places to build burrows and nests, hiding places and access to produce.
Let us look at some news articles.
Farmers’ crops destroyed with rat infestation.
December 13 2016.
This article was published by Mr. McCullough in independent.ie
One farmer in Carlow says the infestation of rats in his tillage crop could prove a health and safety issue for local residents.
The planting of wild bird cover under GLAS has become the third most widespread cereals crop in the country, after barley and wheat.
However, while the bird cover has generally been very successful, some problems have been identified by both farmers and advisors.
Among the difficulties that have come to light, one of the more serious is rat infestation in the crop.
The farmer planted 1.3ha of the crop, which delivers a payment of up €900/ha/year under GLAS.
A mix of spring barley and linseed was sown and not harvested, as the GLAS measures specifies, with the crop left as a source of winter feed for wild birds.
However, a serious infestation of rats has taken hold in the plot and the farmer is fearful that the rodents could prove a health and safety threat to two nearby houses.
“The rats have really taken over in the crop,” he explained.
“They are burrowing into the hedgerows and they have tracks going through the crop, you’d think they were for sheep.”
He discounted suggestions that another food source could have attracted the rats to the site.
“It is the perfect cover for rats and an ideal food source when you think that there could be around six tonne of barley there to be eaten,” he said.
Under GLAS rules, bird cover must continue to be grown on the same parcel for five years.
Richard Hackett of the Irish Tillage Consultants Association (ITCA) said rat infestation of wild bird cover crops had not been noted as a widespread problem by advisors.
But he said there had been difficulties with the crop and “there were issues that needed to be ironed out.”
Officials confirmed that close to 8,000 farmers in GLAS 1 and GLAS 2 grow around 14,000ha of the crop.
Rodents pose one of the most serious threats to food production worldwide, but indiscriminately removing rodents from ecosystems is not always the best management option.
The magnitude of damage caused by pests in agriculture is huge. Thus there is an urgent need to address this problem.
At C Tech Corporation we offer a solution called Rodrepel™ which is a non-toxic, non-hazardous additive that helps us keep rodents at bay without causing any harm to the rodent or any other species that consumes or comes in contact with it.
It is an eco-friendly product that can be safely incorporated in polymers or coated on surfaces to repel rodents and other animals without killing them. Rodrepel™ is available in masterbatch and lacquer form, or as a liquid solution (which can be mixed in paints in a predetermined ratio). This product can be added to mulches, coated on tree trunks or incorporated in films to protect our agricultural produce from the damage caused by these rodents.
Contact us if you are facing problems against these critters as well as against insects