Armyworms infest six hectares of cornfields

BACOLOD City – The Negros Occidental Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) reported Friday that around six hectares of cornfields were infested by fall armyworms.

OPA head Japhet Masculino said the infested farms are in La Carlota (0.7 has.), La Castellana (2.25 has.), Pontevedra (0.25 has.), and San Carlos City with almost one hectare of cornfields.

Estimated damage to crop was P200,000.

Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson issued an executive order calling for the creation of a coordinating task force on fall armyworm.

According to the order, there is a “critical need” to ensure preparedness and strengthen pest surveillance and management activities in the province.

The memo also noted methods of managing fall armyworms including preventing or avoiding arrival of the pest, monitoring and detecting for infestations, and suppression and control of the pest once detected.

The pest attacks rice, corn, soybeans, sugarcane and some vegetables.

According to a memorandum from the Bureau of Plant Industry from last May, the destructive pest has a high reproductive rate and is difficult to control as they have a natural tolerance for some insecticides.