Surrya Khanam, Shaheen Akhtar, Saha Bukhari, Abra Sheema, Muhammad Mushtaq, Asima Azam, Gulnaz Parveen

Pre-harvest rodent-inflicted damage to maize and sugarcane crops in Swabi, Pakistan

Abstract Rodents are considered to be one of the most important pests in the agricultural system of Pakistan. The present study was conducted to assess the pre-harvest damage to maize and sugarcane crops. Also, a survey of farmers was conducted to assess their knowledge and understanding about rodent pest species. For estimation of crop damages, we selected 40 maize fields in two villages and 30 sugarcane fields in three villages of district Swabi. In maize fields, the average damage was found to be higher in village Guloo Deri as compared to village Baikot. In the case of sugarcane fields, the average damage was higher in the village Menai as compared to villages Ghoati and Jandaboka. However, these differences were statistically non-significant (p > 0.05) in both crops. In maize crops, two rodent species, including Rattus rattus (7) and Mus musculus (4) and one insectivorous species house shrew (Suncus murinus) (6) was captured. In sugarcane crops, there were three rodent species including R. rattus (2) and M. musculus, (2) Bandicota bengalensis (2) and a single insectivorous species house shrew (S. murinus) (5) caught. The results of the farmers’ survey shows that farmers consider insects to be the major pest in both crop fields and storage structures. Among the crops affected by rodents, wheat was reported to be the major crop followed by maize. Most of the farmers believed that rodent control is required and that crop losses can be minimized through pest control. In conclusion, for the effective management of rodent pests in the area, further investigation into rodent ecology and their damage to different growth stages of crops is necessary.


Keywords Rodent pests; pre-harvest loss; maize; sugarcane; agriculture crops

Full text