THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas has urged vigilance among farmers against a possible massive infestation of rice armyworms especially on rain-fed areas in the region including Negros Occidental.
The regional line agency, in a statement, said infestations were already detected in the 21-hectare rice area in Iloilo.
These are particularly in Barangays Bagumbayan, Ticdalan, Cawayan, Igpandan, Igbugo and Igcabitoon in Miag-ao town.
It reported other sightings were recorded in the 10-hectare rice area in Tigbauan town, Iloilo.
"Everyone is enjoined to take proactive measures in your respective areas," it said, adding that for more information and technical assistance, they may contact the Regional Crop Protection Center - Western Visayas through email@example.com or (033) 329-6958.
Armyworms are green-striped caterpillar larvae of the adult armyworm moth.
As common pests of grass, armyworms can also damage rice, corn, beets, beans, clover, flax, millet and other grains.
The pest could bring huge losses to rice particularly during the ripening stage.
In Negros Occidental, Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said there were small areas in the province infested by armyworm in June.
It was negligible as the area is small," Masculino said, adding though that it was the first time for the province to have a sugarcane infestation.
For now, no reported infestation yet on rice in Negros Occidental, he also said.