198 hectares in CagVal affected by brown planthoppers

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, 10 March (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) here urged farmers to become vigilant with their rice crops after 198 hectares of rice fields in Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya were infested by the brown planthopper (BPH) insect.

According to DA Science Research Specialist Mindaflor Aquino, they received a report that 35 hectares of land in Baggao were also infested but the their team is still confirming the report.

“We encourage our farmers to check their rice crops because female BPHs can lay 200 eggs in just one cycle and can destroy 50 to 100 percent of the crops,” she said.

The DA - Regional Crop Protection Management Center conducts an orientation and field demonstration in the application of a metarhizium, a bio-control agent, to brown planthopper affected rice areas in Isabela. Photo courtesy of DA-2.

The DA has already conducted orientations and field demonstrations in the application of a metarhizium, a bio-control agent for brown planthopper affected rice areas particularly in San Miguel, Burgos, Isabela. She said that Isabela has 178 hectares that were affected.

While this is not the first time the region was infested by BPHs, the case about five years ago was manageable compared to the present infestation. Aquino also said that the  climate is a factor especially during the first quarter where the sunny and rainy seasons come alternately.

Aquino said that the transporting of rice straw or hay to other areas can spread the presence of BPHs.

Farmers are advised to immediately report any incidents to their nearest agricultural office or at the Regional Crop Protection Center in Ilagan, Isabela for immediate action from the Department.

A Pestnet.org report shows that the overuse of insecticides is the main cause of outbreaks of brown planthoppers as the insecticides kill the said pests' natural predators.

Likewise, a DA report on pest and disease occurrences in Region 2 from 2015 to 2019 showed that other pests to be wary of besides the BPH are armyworms or cutworms, rodents, rice black bugs. Diseases to watch out for include rice blasts and rice tungro. (JCK/GVB/PIA 2-Cagayan)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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