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Mahirap nang kumalat eh! DA advises farmers to report crop pest incidents ASAP

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Farmers in Western Visayas were advised to report crop pest incidents, especially on rice, to the Department of Agriculture soonest.

DA-6 Regional Crop Protection Center head Ryan Rasgo said this will help minimize the damage to crops especially with the hot dry spell worsened by El Nino.

“We are encouraging our farmers to contact their agricultural technicians when the presence of pests are monitored in their areas. We also give pest advisories to every province. Aside from that, farmers shall also monitor weather updates,” he said (https://thedailyguardian.net/local-news/farmers-urged-to-report-crop-pest-incidents-immediately/).

Citing its figures, the DA-6 said some 393.73 hectares of rice areas had been damaged by rice black bug and 23.4 hectares by armyworm in the region.

The highest incidence of RBB is in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental with 208.28 hectares affected.

In Iloilo province, three towns have recorded RBB damage, including Concepcion with 76 hectares; Bingawan with 54.75 hectares; and San Dionisio with 49.7 hectares.

Five hectares of rice farm had been damaged by RBB in Ibajay, Aklan.

Armyworm infestation was monitored in 23.4 hectares of rice farms in Madalag, Banga, Balete, and Altavas in Aklan.

RBB and armyworm are hard to control when water is not sufficient in the field, Rasgo noted.

He added some farmers’ practice of non-synchronous planting and unsanitized farm area lead to pest occurrence.

The DA urged farmers to use other alternative management strategies such as biological control agents and appropriate cultural management practices instead of chemical pesticides.

“We are continuously producing bio-control agent metarrhiziumanisoplae against [rice] black bug. This has been proven effective in controlling RBB. Its effect can be seen in three days to two weeks of application,” he said.

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