Cebu City – The Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) urges the farmers and agriculture officers in the different municipalities and cities of the region to regularly conduct field inspection and monitoring of their crops for any presence of insect pests and diseases, especially on Fall Army Worm (FAW).
DA-7 Regional Executive Director Salvador Diputado said that the agency is now conducting field validation and monitoring on the extent of damage caused by FAW, based on reports received from the concerned LGUs in Cebu.
The regional team from the DA-7’s Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) and Regulatory Division is inspecting and validating infested corn farms as to the extent of damages caused by FAW.
FAW, mostly feed on plant like corn, rice and other crops.
Bienvenido Acabal, Chief of the RCPC said that based on the corn farms inspected, FAW damages are not yet alarming and still at manageable level.
“Upon our assessment of the area, we will provide recommendations such as the use of physical control like handpicking, use of biocontrol agents such as the use of Metarhizium and earwigs or the chemical method to control and contain army worm,” Acabal said.
Of the 687.7 hectares corn area planted and monitored from the 12 barangays of the eight municipalities of Cebu, namely Alegria (1 brgy), Badian (2 brgys), Dumanjug (2 brgys), Toledo City (2 brgys), Oslob (2 brgys), Asturias (1 brgy), Daanbantayan (1 brgy) and Medellin (1 brgy), only around 76.47 hectares were affected and were already treated, for the month of June. These corn plants are at their seedling, early to late whorl and detasseling stages,” Acabal said.
“It is very important to report right away any farm infestation to prevent severe damages which will result to yield loss,” Acabal explained.
He said that infestation can be identified if caused by the FAW because the worm has dark head with a pale, upside-down Y-shape on the front and the four dark spots forming a square on the second to the last body segment, among others.
Buenaventura Cagot Jr, Antonio S. Balansag and Endriqueta Licayan, farmers of Oslob, Cebu were very worried as their corn farms were attacked with worms. To prevent further damage, they reported the incident to their MAO.
“Hinaut unta nga masalbar pa ang among maisan batok ining mga ulod aron aduna pa kamiý maani”, matud nila. (We hope that our corn fields will still be saved from these worms so we can still harvest”, they said.)
Diputado encouraged the farmers to report immediately any farm damages caused by FAW or any insect pest or diseases to their respective municipal agriculture officers (MAO). The MAO will then inform the regional office for immediate actions. (DA7)