DAMAGE to crops due to the dry spell brought about by the weak El Niño weather phenomenon in the province is now pegged at P8,329,064.96 based on the latest report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
Based on the report submitted by Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino to Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., the dry spell has affected 237 rice plantations in nine barangays in Cauayan and Ilog from January to February this year.
The data also showed that 361 rice farmers are affected by the El Niño, 253 of whom are from Cauayan and 108 from Ilog.
OPA conducted field validation from February 27 to March 12, led by the Provincial Crop Protection Team. Information dissemination to field agriculturists regarding the weather advisory from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration on the mild El Niño occurrence is also being undertaken.
Masculino said that his office continuously conducts field monitoring through the local government units.
He also revealed that his office has been coordinating with concerned agencies about the plan to conduct cloud seeding operation to minimize the effect of the dry spell.