Due to climate change with hot summers and mild winters, more and more alien insect pests are causing problems for farms in this country. In the previous year, there was an increase in reports of the green rice bug in particular, which often causes massive damage to legumes, vegetables and fruit. In order to monitor the situation and advise farmers in the affected regions on efficient management measures, AGES and the Chambers of Agriculture are launching a joint rice bug monitoring program this year as part of the well-known Plant Protection Warning Service.
Until a few years ago, the green rice bug was only widespread in Europe in the Mediterranean region, but since 2015 it has also become established in our country. In 2021, a massive infestation was reported for the first time in a soybean field in Vienna. Numerous larvae and adults are found mainly in allotments and community gardens in urban regions such as Vienna and Graz. Isolated reports in Upper and Lower Austria already show that the green rice bug is spreading in Austria.
The green rice bug can cause considerable damage to legumes, vegetables and fruits. It multiplies strongly in dry and hot summer months. "We are therefore carrying out Austria-wide monitoring starting this year in cooperation with the Chambers of Agriculture," say AGES Managing Directors Thomas Kickinger and Anton Reinl. "The legumes soybean, vegetable soybean and bush bean are being monitored. Notifications and reports on the occurrence and development of the green rice bug are published via the Plant Protection Warning Service website (warndienst.at)," report Kickinger and Reinl.
"It is to be feared that this pest, which is difficult to control, will also lead to significant yield losses in Austria. In order to save food and to be able to advise our crop farms to carry out controls and care measures in the affected regions at exactly the right time, we consider joint monitoring including a warning service to be important measures. Targeted, efficient plant protection is a win-win situation for the environment and the economy," emphasizes Austrian Chamber of Agriculture President Josef Moosbrugger.