Corn, tobacco farmers shout for help in ‘talakitik’, catworm invasion in Pangsainan
Farmers here have appealed for help from the provincial government amid the attack on their corn plants by the brown plant hopper locally known as “talakitik”.
The office of the Municipal Agriculturist expressed fear on Friday that if there was no solution to brown hopper infestation, corn harvest in Sto. Tomas would be drastically reduced.
The town of Sto. Tomas is known for producing quality corn. It is holding the yearly Corn Festival on account of its abundant corn harvests during summer and as a tribute to its unrelenting farmers.
The town’s agriculture office said some 750 hectares of land were planted to corn yearly and a small percentage of these has been infested by the brown plant hopper.
Farmers are now monitoring their standing corn crops for fear of brown plant hopper attack.
The pest attacks the leaves of corn plants and suck their juice till they become brownish. If the pest is not licked, the corn plants will not grow and bear fruits.
The municipal agriculture office said that corn was planted in most of the fields immediately after rice harvest.
At the same time, farmers reported the attack on their burley tobacco plants by another tiny pest called catworm.
Farmers said that they might not be able to recover the capital that they already spent in their tobacco planting venture this year, which means they and their families will have to endure financial hardships during the rest of the year.
The municipal government of Sto. Tomas led by Mayor Timoteo Villar is ready to provide seed subsidy to the affected farmers, according to the agriculture office. (PNA)