FARMERS received P150 million worth of assistance to help control infestation by the fall armyworm, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

DA Corn Program Director Lorenzo M. Caranguian said: “We have provided affected farmers with 63,017 packs of Pheromone lures, 86,983 liters of pesticide and biological control agents such as Trichogramma chilonis to control fall armyworm eggs and earwigs, and Metharhizium species against fall armyworm larva.”

The DA’s Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and regional field offices will also conduct seminars on integrated pest management practices, pest control techniques, and good agricultural practices.

“We are deploying crop experts and procuring needed crop protection chemicals and biocontrol agents to effectively manage, control and contain fall armyworm that has to date infested 8,000 hectares planted to corn nationwide,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said.

As of June 30, the DA reported that the fall armyworm has damaged crops in Cagayan Valley, affecting 4,214 hectares, followed by SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City), where 1,730 hectares were affected.

Areas in Northern Mindanao reporting damage totaled 882 hectares, and the Zamboanga Peninsula 665 hectares.

Mr. Dar said the fall armyworm infestation was monitored in 208 municipalities across 47 provinces, based on reports from the BPI, the DA Corn Program directorate, and DA regional field offices.

The appearance of the fall armyworm was first reported in June 2019 in Piat in Cagayan Province.

The fall armyworm larva feeds on corn, rice, and other crops, affecting yields. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave