Bacolod: Armyworm infestations reported in 3 LGUs

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(Photo courtesy of Atty. Dino Yulo)

Infestations of armyworms have been reported in three local government units of the 5th district of Negros Occidental.

After confirming the armyworm attack on crops, Provincial Agriculturist Dina Genzola said they are conducting an assessment and validation, in coordination with the affected local government units.

Genzola, however, has yet to give more details on the extent of the damage caused by the armyworm outbreaks, as they are still in the process of consolidating their official report, as of this time.

Negros Occidental 5th district Rep. Emilio Bernardino Yulo also disclosed recently that armyworms have affected portions of Isabela and Himamaylan City, and the upper barangays of Binalbagan.

Yulo said the armyworm outbreaks may have been caused by climatic change, triggered by the El Niño phenomenon and subsequent rains.

During the dry season, armyworm larvae stay close to the ground, feeding on grasses and other plants. Later on, they move up to feed on plant leaves and fruits.

Based on reports he received, Yulo said armyworms attacked a large portion of a sugarcane plantation, although their favorite target is corn.

According to the Department of Agriculture, armyworms are destructive pests that got their names from their army-like movement in agricultural fields. They usually consume turf grass but would eat any vegetation in their path. They can be controlled using neem oil-based sprays, or with biological controls like earwigs, spiders, and predatory wasps. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star)

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