Army worms eat up P125M of onions in Nueva Ecija
Five barangays in Nueva Ecija were placed under state calamity after army worms ate up the young leaves of their Red Creole onions, damaging P125.53 million worth of crops.
The Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported a state of calamity was declared over barangays Dolores, Concepcion, San Francisco, San Agustin and San Fabian in Santo Domingo town in Nueva Ecija due to infestation in 346.3 hectares planted to onions.
Santo Domingo Mayor Leonido de Guzman Jr. told the PNA that army worms, which were hatched by a certain kind of butterfly quickly, have been eating up the young onion leaves since February.
At least 495 farming families suffered from a total loss of 500 bags of 25-kilo pack per hectare (ha).
Based on a market price of P29 per kilo, the Municipal Agriculture Office placed the loss at P125.53 million.
Agriculture authorities are trying to prevent the worms from eating the remaining onions, although the damage was only about 10 percent of 9,000 hectares planted to onions.
The onions were supposed to be harvested by the end of this month to April.
Also affected by army worms were the towns of Bongabon, Aliaga, Cuyapo, Talavera, Quezon and Laur; and the cities of Palayan and the Science City of Muñoz.