HomeCropEffective Management Of Sugarcane Leaf Hoppers 

Effective Management Of Sugarcane Leaf Hoppers 

Attention Sugarcane Farmers! Are you worried about sugarcane leaf hoppers damaging your crops and causing significant reductions in your harvest? You’re not alone! Leaf hoppers are a major threat to the sugarcane industry in India, as it can cause a reduction of up to 31.6% in cane yield and 2-3% in sugar recovery if not properly managed. Hence it is essential for farmers like you to know how to manage them effectively. This article will provide you with effective strategies to safeguard your crops from sugarcane leaf hoppers and increase your yields.  

You can find them feeding gregariously on sugarcane plants and they jump off readily when disturbed. They pierce and suck the sap from plant tissues and mouthparts are usually hidden by their pointed snout. High temperature and humidity favor the rapid buildup of leaf hoppers. Heavy manuring and water logging also favor leaf hoppers multiplication. 

Type of Infestation

If leaf hopper infestation occurs during the rapid growth stage of the sugarcane plant, it can have a negative impact on the overall yield. On the other hand, if infestation occurs from September onwards, it can primarily affect the sucrose levels of the cane in the field.  

Scientific Name: Pyrilla perpusilla 

Most Affected States

The sugarcane leafhoppers are widespread throughout India and is known to be a major pest of sugarcane in several states, including Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. 

Symptoms of Sugarcane Leaf Hoppers

Below are the symptoms that can assist you in promptly detecting a leaf hopper infestation in your sugarcane fields, 

  • Both nymphs and adults suck the cell sap from the underside of the sugarcane leaves. 
  • As a result of sucking, leaves may become yellow and then dry. 
  • Hoppers excrete a sweet substance, called honey dew on to foliage, leading to the growth of saprophytic fungus known as black mould.  
  • Severe infestation may cause leaves to droop and hinder the overall growth of sugarcane plants. 

Control Measures

Do you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your fields? If so, why are you still waiting? Don’t wait any longer to take action. Implement an integrated pest management strategy to control the population of leaf hoppers and prevent further crop damage. Read on to know some effective measures to control sugarcane leaf hopper. 

Cultural Measures

  • Avoid ratoon crop in areas prone to leaf hoppers.  
  • Detrash and destroy the older dried leaves to reduce infestation. 
  • Eliminate alternate hosts of pyrilla like maize, sorghum, barley etc. 
  • Avoid using excessive dozes of nitrogenous fertilizers, as this can lead to succulent growth which encourages leaf hopper population. 
  • Grow intercrops like ground nut and soybean to minimize leaf hopper damage. 

Physical Measures

  • Light Traps play a major role in trapping sugarcane leaf hoppers. Install Farmoguard Solar Light Trap in sugarcane fields at the rate of one per acre to attract and kill leaf hoppers. 

Mechanical Measures

  • Collect and destroy the egg masses of pyrilla to control their population. 
  • Install Tapas Yellow Sticky Trap in sugarcane fields to attract and trap leaf hoppers. For optimal trapping, set up 4 to 6 traps per acre. 

Biological Measures

  • Encourage natural predators to control leaf hopper population. 
  • When 3-5 Pyrilla individuals are observed per leaf, release 3,200 to 4,000 cocoons or 3.2-4.0 lakh eggs of Epiricania melanoleuca per acre.  
  • Greenpeace Neemol Bio Neem Oil Insecticide contains neem-based products azadirachtin which when used at the rate of 1-2 ml per liter of water with 15 days interval between each spray can effectively control leaf hoppers in sugarcane fields. 
  • Anand Dr. Bacto’s Meta Insecticide contains a parasitic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae which can effectively control sugarcane leaf hoppers. The recommended dosage is 2ml per liter of water. 
  • Amruth Almax Liquid is a biological pesticide containing naturally occurring entomo pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana which comes in contact with the cuticle of the target insect and kills them. The recommended dosage is 2-3ml per liter of water. 

Chemical Measures

If the sugarcane leaf hopper infestation becomes severe, it is necessary to take action to control their population. One effective method is to use commercial insecticides. Insecticides that can be used to control sugarcane leafhoppers are mentioned below, 

Product Name  Technical Content  Dosage 
Tafaban Insecticide  Chlorophyriphos 20 %EC  2.5 ml/lit of water 
Reeva 5 Insecticide  Lambda Cyhalothrin 5 % EC  2 ml/lit of water 
Tafgor Insecticide  Dimethoate 30% EC  1.5 ml/lit of water 
Anshul Ikon Insecticide  Acetamiprid 20% S.P.  0.5gm/lit water 
Actara Insecticide  Thiamethoxam 25 % WG  0.5 gm/lit of water 


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