UPLB experts to submit armyworm infestation report

By Dolly Yasa

Bacolod City – Rep. Emilio Bernardino Yulo (5th district, Negros Occidental) announced that the UP team of experts is set to submit their official report and recommendations to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) regarding the armyworm infestation in corn and sugarcane plantations in central Negros.

Yulo earlier brought the team to the affected areas, mostly in his district. The experts are from the National Crop Protection Center of the University of the Philippines – Los Baños (NCPC-UPLB), who arrived last week in Negros Occidental to help farmers contain the fall armyworm infestation in affected LGUs.

Yulo told reporters in a phone interview Monday that the team of experts recommended specific chemicals for use. They also suggested a two-pronged approach to eradicate armyworms, involving both chemical treatments and biocontrol methods, where insects prey on the armyworms.

A report from the OPA submitted to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson Monday revealed that armyworms have destroyed 923.5 hectares of cornfields and sugar plantations in 75 barangays across 15 towns and cities in Negros Occidental.

The affected areas include the cities of Sagay, Silay, Bago, Escalante, Kabankalan, and Himamaylan, as well as the municipalities of Ilog, Murcia, La Castellana, Hinobaan, Candoni, Binalbagan, Cauayan, Isabela, and Moises Padilla. The infestation has impacted the livelihood of 1,429 farmers.

The report further detailed that 843 hectares of cornfields and 80 hectares of sugarcane plantations were damaged by armyworms.

Governor Lacson said the provincial government of Negros Occidental received 50 liters of insecticides from the Regional Crop Protection Center of the Department of Agriculture, which is sufficient for spraying approximately 100 hectares of affected crops.

“We will continue spraying activities in the affected areas,” Lacson said.

Additionally, Lacson mentioned that the provincial government allocated a P3 million budget for more insecticides for future spraying.

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