Worm infestation in Himamaylan nearing containment

ARMYWORM DAMAGE. Armyworms damage a sugarcane plant in Barangay Cabadiangan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental in this photo taken last week. At least seven local government units in the province have reported infestation as of June 21, 2024, the latest report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist showed. (Photo from Atty. Dino Yulo's Facebook page)
ARMYWORM DAMAGE. Armyworms damage a sugarcane plant in Barangay Cabadiangan, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental in this photo taken last week. At least seven local government units in the province have reported infestation as of June 21, 2024, the latest report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist showed. (Photo from Atty. Dino Yulo's Facebook page)

Himamaylan City Mayor Raymond Tongson said the fall armyworm infestation in the city is nearing containment.

Himamaylan City Government has also reactivated the Barangay Bantay Peste Brigade in response to the fall armyworm infestation affecting sugarcane plantations and cornfields in the area.

The City Agriculture Office provided an update on the purchase of farm chemicals to mitigate the fall army infestation.  The City has allocated a budget for a Crop Protection program for its pest control efforts. “We are fast-tracking the processing of requests before the infestation spreads to more agricultural areas in Himamaylan,” said  Tongson. Barangay officials are also slated to undergo a training course for pest and disease identification and management, he added.

The Himamaylan local government unit has also requested the Negros Occidental Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) to use the drone for massive spraying of affected farms and areas.

As of June 21, a total of 64.65 hectares of cornfields in three barangays are laden with the pest in its vegetative stage affecting the livelihood of 124 farmers. These are just the initial reports from the City Agriculture Office. CAO is monitoring the daily situation in the affected areas, Tongson said. Tongson added that the city government is closely working with the office of Fifth District Rep. Dino Yulo, OPA, Sugar Regulatory Administration, and private groups to combat the attack of the fall armyworm in the locality.

About 50 percent of 18.88 hectares owned by 55 farmers are infested in Brgy. San Antonio; 54 percent of the 13.17 hectares are run by pests in Brgy. Mahalang affects 23 farmers; and 65 percent of the 32.6 hectares of cornfields in Brgy. Carabalan is infested, affecting 46 farmers. Tongson said the city government is planning to source corn seeds to be distributed among affected local farmers.

In early reports, a total of 82 hectares of sugarcane plantations in the city were hit by armyworms.

The OPA and SRA have begun the massive spraying of sugarcane fields hit by armyworms in cooperation with the private firms in Brgy. Cabadiangan.(TDE)

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