Studies up on management of armyworms in sugarcane


The National Crop Protection Center (NCPC) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) will conduct various studies on the sound management of fall armyworms in sugarcane currently monitored in the different localities in Negros Occidental.

Some 80 hectares of sugarcane plantation and 843 hectares of cornfield in 15 local government units (LGUs) have been infested by armyworms, as of July 5, based on the latest report of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) July 9.

In its report, the NCPC team, led by director Barbara Caoili, said they conducted a field visit and assessment from July 3 to 4 to investigate the infestation in sugarcane in the province, in coordination with 5th District Rep. Emilio Bernardino Yulo, focusing on areas in Himamaylan City as well as Binalbagan and Hinigaran towns.

Fall armyworms infesting a sugarcane plant in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental, last week. In a report following a field visit and assessment of affected areas from July 3 to 4, the National Crop Protection Center said it will conduct various studies on the sound management of fall armyworms in sugarcane. | NCPC-UPLB FB photos

“In Himamaylan, a specific area showed pest damage at 100 percent,” it added.

During the site visit, the team monitored and collected specimens in affected sugarcane and corn fields.

The NCPC report said they will use the collected parasitized eggs and dead larvae covered by fungi to study potential biological control agents against fall armyworms in sugarcane.

It also said that armyworms were “found to infest various weeds associated with sugarcane and caused damage to an ornamental plant planted near the sugarcane field.”

Among the studies that NCPC will conduct include research on molecular and morpho-cultural identification, susceptibility tests on various insecticides, and identification and mass production of biological control agents collected during the site visit.

Also, the NCPC team presented their research and extension initiatives and the initial assessment of pest infestation in sugarcane at Barangay Carabalan, Himamaylan City, during the sugarplanters’ forum with the OPA, the Sugar Regulatory Authority, and the Department of Agriculture-Regional Crop Protection Center.

They also presented the “possible biological control agents obtained during the site visit, aside from the existing biological control agents studied by NCPC with confirmed effectiveness in controlling fall armyworms in corn.”

Part of the forum was aimed at training the farmers on proper insecticide spraying as Yulo sees the importance of this for effective insect management, the report added. | PNA