THE IMPACT OF RODENT MANAGEMENT ON RICE YIELDS IN FOUR DIFFERENT LOWLAND IRRIGATED AREAS IN INDONESIANur Aini Herawati
Rodent damage in rice crops is leading to reduced yields and poor food security for farmers throughout Indonesia. The goal of this study, conducted between 2015-2016, was to assess the impact of rodent management methods on rice yields in four different regions. The study sites, all in lowland irrigated areas, were in Aceh Province, Cirebon and Indramayu Regency in northern West java, and Purbalingga Regency in southwestern Central Java. Different data management methods ranging from full protection using plastic fences and bubu traps, fumigation, sanitation and synchronization of planting date were implemented depending on the severity of rat damage in the previous cropping season. In all regionâs farmers enclosed their crops using plastic fence equipped with bubu traps along the fence within a crop season. The number of rats captured during the crop cycle (planting to harvest) varied among locations: 1,331 rats from 44 traps for Aceh; 7,000 rats from 80 traps for Cirebon; 4,916 rats from 70 traps for Indramayu and 130 rats from 70 traps for Purbalingga. The rice yields before and after implementing the rodent management were different, with all regions showing increased yield: from 1.03 to 5.89 ton/ha in Aceh; 3.32 to 7.56 ton/ha in Cirebon; 4.76 to 8.93 ton/ha in Indramayu and 7.32 to 10.86 ton/ha in purbalingga. In summary, rat management particularly surrounding the crop with the plastic fence plus bubu traps increased yield by 1.5-5 times that of the previous season where these methods were not implemented. Farmers have indicated thay they will continue to use plastic fence and bubu traps.