Negros Occidental

Fall armyworm infestation widens to 9 localities in Negros Occidental

Ambo Delilan

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Fall armyworm infestation widens to 9 localities in Negros Occidental

ARMYWORM ATTACK. A fall armyworm currently attacking agricultural crops in central and southern parts of Negros Occidental.

Department of Agriculture - Western Visayas Research Team

The nine localities affected by the armyworm infestation are the cities of Himamaylan and Kabankalan and the towns of Murcia, La Castellana, Moises Padilla, Ilog, Cauayan, Isabela, and Binalbagan – all in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Districts of Negros Occidental

BACOLOD, Philippines – The current infestation caused by fall armyworms or the Spodoptera frugiperda (scientific name) has widened to nine localities in the province of Negros Negros, affecting corn, rice, and sugar plantations.

Nilo Basco, crop protection head of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), on Friday, June 28,  said the nine affected localities by the infestation are the cities of Himamaylan and Kabankalan and the towns of Murcia, La Castellana, Moises Padilla, Ilog, Cauayan, Isabela, and Binalbagan – all in the 3rd, 4th and 5th Districts of Negros Occidental.

Basco said a total of 663 farmers from 40 villages in nine local government units of Negros Occidental have had already been affected as 558.23 hectares of corn, rice, and sugarcane fields were already under attack by the armyworms.

But OPA has no report on the estimated damage yet.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said the infestation is definitely a threat to food security of the affected localities.

In a report published by the DA in its official website, the fall armyworm surveillance and management protocol said the spread of the armyworms is facilitated by its highly-migratory behavior and by international trade and human travel.

In Himamaylan, where the infestation had started two weeks ago, the city government has revived its Barangay Bantay Peste Brigade (BBPB) on June 27.

BBPB will help in monitoring and detecting the possible spread of the fall armyworms to other villages of Himamaylan so that proper action will be drawn immediately to contain the infestation.

Fall armyworms in Himamaylan, according to Mayor Raymund Tongson, have already spread in three barangays: Mahalang, Carabalan and San Antonio. This affects almost 65 hectares of cornfield with 124 farmers affected at present.

Tongson said, “We are fast tracking the processing of requests before the infestation spreads to more agricultural areas in Himamaylan.”

The city government will purchase farm chemicals to mitigate the fall armyworm attack, and will be using drones to aid in spraying in the affected areas, Tongson said.

Engineer Albert Barrogo, assistant regional director of the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas, said on Saturday, June 29, that they are already done with their validation on the fall armyworm infestation in the central and southern parts of Negros Occidental.

Barrogo said experts from the National Crop Protection Center will be coming to Negros Occidental on July 1 to join with the region’s Department of Agriculture, OPA, and Sugar Regulatory Administration teams, including Negros Occidental 5th District Representative Dino Yulo, to finalize a protocol that will be adopted in fighting the occurrence of the fall armyworm infestation. – Rappler.com

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