Farmers warned on new pest-A A +A
Saturday, January 7, 2012
THE Bureau of Plant Industry is warning farmers against a new rice pest that has infested farms in various rice-producing regions.
Bureau director Clarito Barron issued the memorandum following receipt of consolidated reports from the field with regard the plant infestation and other crops concerns.
“The pest was found to be infesting rice panicles, from flowering stage to milking stage, which resulted to unfilled or discolored grains that eventually reduces quality and subsequently yield.”
While the BPI claimed that the infestation is limited to a very small area, farmers and technicians have been urged to closely monitor rice farms and immediately report to the Regional Crop Protection Center the presence of said pest and other disease incidence in their concerned areas.
It also recommended measures and strategies to control the spread of the pest: Burn or plow under rice straw/stubbles right after harvest to kill the bugs; ensure sanitation and cleanliness, including of the dikes;
Monitor the field regularly to determine early pest appearance; and in case the pest is already present, apply 'green label' contact insecticides at early morning or late afternoon.
The pest was temporarily identified as Paromius longulus, the BPI said, subject to verification and formal identification by experts.
It is called by different names by different regions like rice seed bug, dirt-colored seed bug or rice grain bug, it added. “The pest already reportedly infested some rice farms in regions 5, 7, 8 and 13.” (CGC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 07, 2012.