DA warns of pests affecting onion, cassava
The Bureau of Plant Industry under the agriculture department has asked regional executive directors to inform it immediately about pests affecting cassavas and onions in their areas.
Agriculture assistant secretary Paz Benavidez II said the agency has validated the infestation of cutworms and armyworms on onion in Sto. Domingo in Nueva Ecija affecting 346.3 hectares.
Cutworms and armyworms attacked several crops in the country in 2010 in Pangasinan, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Albay, Masbate, and Zamboanga del Norte during the drought. A total of 20,429 hectares were affected and the crops attacked included ampalaya, eggplant, okra, patola, sitao, tomato, peanut, taro, watermelon, sweet potato, sugarcane, cassava, calamansi, banana, lemon grass, among others. Onions, however, were not among the crops affected in 2010.
The infestation in Nueva Ecija affected five barangays. The bureau has received reports that the pest has also been found in Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur.
The bureau recommends that the crops affected be immediately burned after harvest to destroy the pest and to remove hosts such as weeds to maintain the health of the soil. The field must also be immediately plowed after harvest to eradicate the cutworm/armyworm pupae that may still be in the soil.