By Malu Cadelina Manar
KIDAPAWAN CITY (July 3) – Vast hectares of corn in at least three villages here were reported to have been affected by Fall armyworm — believed to be a dangerous insect with high potential of killing the plant so rapidly, an agri technologist said.
Elpidio Gaspan of the City Agriculture Office said the worm has already destroyed cornfields located in the barangay of Paco, Junction, and Sumbac.
Gaspan said they have yet to assess the estimated amount of the crop destruction.
The infestation was reported early this year but became evident during the onset of rains, reports said.
He added the worm starts destroying the corn leaves, then the stem, and spreads to other parts of the plant.
In just few minutes, the destruction has already been complete and then spreads rapidly to other plants, he stressed.
The infestation, according to the City Agriculture Office (CAO), could become a threat to food security and livelihood of a number of corn farmers in the city.
Reports from the CAO, said an adult Fall armyworm can fly long distances.
The worm also destroy other plants like peanuts,
maize, millet, peanut, sugarcane, tobacco, fruits, and even flowers, weeds, and grasses.
Gaspan has advised corn farmers to take out the worms and then destroy them through use of insecticides.