Monday, June 3, 2013

Rice Survivor (Wet Season edition): A snail's pace is faster than you think

I'm participating in this wet season's "Rice Survivor" activity. The question that worries me the most is: will the plants I tend this season survive? :) It's going to be a challenging time, this wet season...
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May 29, 2013.

Contrary to popular belief, snails are not slow, particularly at chomping off plant parts. That's what I learned, though it's implicitly said, during the first field exposure of the wet season Rice Survivors. During this activity, Alex Stuart, a snail expert, walked us through the importance of keeping snails out of our rice field.

There are several strategies, it turns out. Two strategies that I remember are (1) kill the snails with pesticides; (2) pick the snails by hand (yes, you read that right... by hand!). A third approach involves collecting the pink snail eggs and crush them before snails start to hatch. 

                   

I still don't know how my group is going to banish those snails from the rice field assigned to us. But one thing's for sure: rice production is not as simple as it seems.