DA steps up measures vs. armyworm pest in C. Luzon

DA steps up measures vs. armyworm pest in C. Luzon

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office here is stepping up measures against armyworms to protect crops from infestation.

DA Regional Director Crispulo Bautista Jr., said on Wednesday that he has instructed the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) to conduct monitoring on the presence of armyworms, locally called “harabas” in some farms planted with onion in San Manuel, Tarlac.

Sightings of armyworm infestation were reported in the neighboring town of Moncada following the pest surveillance conducted by the RCPC headed by Edgardo Supan.

Bautista said the RCPC immediately coordinated with the Municipal Agriculturist Office in Moncada to provide control measures in containing the pest-occurrence in onion farm areas.

He said that crop damage could be avoided by monitoring the presence of pests and diseases.

To prevent the spread of the armyworms to nearby areas, he said that pheromone traps were put up to determine the presence of the destructive insect pest.

“Ang pheromone trap ay nakatutulong din upang mabawasan ang populasyon ng onion armyworm at malimitahan ang pagdami nila sa paraang nata-trap dito ang mga lalaking paru-paro at namamatay (The pheromone trap also helps to reduce the population of onion armyworm and limit their proliferation in the way that male butterflies are trapped and die),” Bautista said in official social media post.

He also said that personnel of the RCPC likewise conducted a technical briefing on how to deal with different onion pests and diseases.

Juanito Rama of the San Manuel Tarlac Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative thanked the DA-RCPC for conducting monitoring and teaching them how to contain pests.

“Maraming salamat po at malaki po ang naitulong ninyo sa amin dahil sa panahon ngayon napakarami ng mga naglalabasang mga peste na hindi namin nalalaman ang pangalan at kung paano ito pamahalaan (Thank you very much, you have helped us a lot because nowadays there are so many pests that we do not know the name and how to manage it),” Rama said.

The DA-RCPC also distributed pheromone traps to farmers.

Bautista also advised farmers to refrain from over-application of pesticide to onion plants, which they have been doing in attempts to kill armyworms because it would entail more problems in the future such as pest immunity.

Aside from Tarlac, the DA-RCPC likewise conducted monitoring and a technical briefing on onion pests and diseases in some towns of Nueva Ecija and Pampanga. (PNA)

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