Sunday, August 08, 2010

DA Controls Army Worms In Guimaras

The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Guimaras announced the sudden attack of unidentified army worms in Guimaras province has been controlled.

Ric Saltin of the DA reported that farmers and the provincial agriculture office of Guimaras have joined to contain the worms attack.

According to Saltin, the worms came from the mountainous area of Guimaras. It started a mass migration toward the lower valley and nearby villages. The hundreds of worms may be due to the very high survival rate of its eggs in the past months. They went down due to climate reasons, said Saltin.

Moreover, DA has ordered the agricultural technicians and experts to identify the path of these worms and understand their migration pattern. It is not clear as to why these worms are migrating and changing their place of growing, Saltin said.

The worms are not really destructive as they only eat leaves from big trees, but the farmers should report if the worms start munching on their vegetables and other high value commercial crops, Saltin added.

The DA has also collected samples of the worms which were sent to the DA laboratory for identification. Once the worm specie is properly identified, the DA will be able to apply the proper management strategies for these worms.

Ronnie Morante, provincial agriculturist of Guimaras, has requested the cooperation of farmers in the province in containing the worms. These worms might attack the mango trees, which the province is famous for, Morante pointed out.

The DA is currently training farmers and the community to become members of the "Bantay Peste Brigade" in Guimaras. They will be tasked to monitor the worms and other agricultural pests in their area, as well as on how to treat them if necessary.
The first incident of army worms reported in Guimaras was in San Lorenzo town in the second week of July. The latest report was confirmed by the DA in the town of Buenavista.

Army worms have attacked ricefields in La Union, Bataan, Batangas, Cavite and Quezon provinces in Luzon and Capiz and Negros in the Visayas. (PNA) /MP

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