Villasis’ rice farms infested with ‘black bugs’

August 13, 2017 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment


 By Virgilio Sr. Maganes

VILLASIS- Municipal Agriculturist Reynaldo C. Mundo here said the rice farms in the western part of the town were infested with “black bugs,” causing a drop on rice production during the third cropping season.

Mundo identified the villages affected as Unzad, Capulaan, Labit, Tombod, Barraca and a part of Bacag.

 ” Farmers in these areas were alarmed when their production dropped to 50 cavans per hectare. Immediately, we investigated the cause of the problems and found out that ‘black bugs’ have damaged their rice crops,” Mundo said.

He said they coordinated with the Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (Opag) based in Sta. Barbara to assist them on how to contain the “black bugs.”

 ” On August 8 to 10, RCPC, OPag and our office conducted technical briefing among the 120 farmers whose farms were affected by ‘black bugs’ and to introduce a biological control agent to destroy them. This control agent is green muscardine fungus (metharhizium anisopliae). RCPC provided the farmers with the control agent to be sprayed in their farms,” Mundo said.

He said once the fungus spores attach to the surface of the “black bugs”, they germinate and begin to grow penetrating the outer skeleton of the insect where they grow rapidly causing the insect to die.

“Rice black bugs are resistant to insecticides. Most of the cases that were monitored are during or after full moon. The full moon cycle affects the black bugs flight activity,” Mundo said.

 He further said that “rice blackbugs” outbreak is also triggered when there’s a relatively small natural enemy complex in the ecosystem, low availability of alternate hosts in the vicinity of rice fields, application of high levels of nitrogenous fertilizers and when there is scarcity of quality preferred foods in the area.

” We are still in the process of monitoring the rice farms where the control agents were sprayed. So far, there are no sightings of ‘black bugs’ in the eastern part of the town,” Mundo said.

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Entry filed under: News.

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