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NCPC to conduct studies on management of armyworms in sugarcane

BACOLOD: The National Crop Protection Center (NCPC) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) will conduct various studies on the sound management of fall armyworms in sugarcane currently monitored in different localities in Negros Occidental.

Some 80 hectares of sugarcane plantation and 843 hectares of cornfield in 15 local government units (LGUs) have been infested by armyworms as of July 5, based on the latest report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) on Tuesday.

In its report, the NCPC team, led by Director Barbara Caoili, said they conducted a field visit and assessment from July 3 to 4 to investigate the infestation in sugarcane in the province, in coordination with Fifth District Rep. Emilio Bernardino Yulo, focusing on areas in Himamaylan City as well as Binalbagan and Hinigaran towns.

‘In Himamaylan, a specific area showed pest damage at 100 percent,’ it added.

During the site visit, the team monitored and collected specimens in affected sugarcane and corn fields.

Th
e NCPC report said they will use the collected parasitized eggs and dead larvae covered by fungi to study potential biological control agents against fall armyworms in sugarcane.

It also said armyworms were ‘found to infest various weeds associated with sugarcane and caused damage to an ornamental plant planted near the sugarcane field.’

Among the studies that NCPC will conduct include research on molecular and morpho-cultural identification, susceptibility tests on various insecticides, and identification and mass production of biological control agents collected during the site visit.

Also, the NCPC team presented their research and extension initiatives and the initial assessment of pest infestation in sugarcane at Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, during the sugarplanters’ forum with the OPA, Sugar Regulatory Authority, and Department of Agriculture-Regional Crop Protection Center.

They also presented the ‘possible biological control agents obtained during the site visit aside from the existing bio
logical control agents studied by NCPC with confirmed effectiveness in controlling fall armyworms in corn.’

Part of the forum aimed at training the farmers on the proper insecticide spraying as Yulo sees the importance of proper insecticide spraying for effective insect management, the report added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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