ARMY worms have invaded Siaton town in Negros Oriental province and destroyed P500,000 worth of crops, the Municipal Agriculture Office said.

Nitz Bangay, information officer of the Provincial Agriculture Office in Negros Oriental, told Sun.Star that nine barangays in Siaton were badly hit by the army worms.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

In a report received by Provincial Agriculturist Gregorio Paltinca, army worms attacked in barangays Datag, Canaway, Caticugan, Tayak, Napacao, Sumaliring, Albiga, Poblacion 4 and Ilanad, all in Siaton.

The report said that most of the affected crops are corn, rice and sugarcane fields.

Judine Cleope, a farmer in Canaway, Siaton told Sun.Star that army worms started attacking his corn fields two weeks ago.

Army worms, however, started to banish lately due to heavy rains.

Meanwhile, Mabinay Mayor Ernesto Uy, in a separate interview, said army worms are now completely contained.

He said army worms attacked corn, rice, sugarcane and vegetables fields in barangay Arebasore, Barras, Pandanon, Inapoy, Banban, Napasoan, Tara, Abis, Campanun-an, Old Namangka, Dahile, Himocdungon and Pantao.

Uy is yet to give the estimated damage of crops in his town.

Bangay, on the other hand, confirmed the infestation of “tungro” in 40 hectares of rice fields in Tanjay City and black bugs in two hectares in Bindoy, Negros Oriental.

She said the tungro is a kind of virus that attacks lands planted to non-resistant varieties of rice, and are worse if chemical fertilizers are used.

She encouraged farmers to use organic fertilizer and tungro-resistant varieties of rice to prevent infestation by the virus. (Victor L. Camion)