Corn Farmers Encountering Armyworm (Spodoptera litura) Problem

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Kantarawaddy Times

Corn farmers are encountering with the issue of armyworm infestations on their corn farms in Kayah State.

A huge armyworm infestation occurred by last year at Tay Hsu Leh Village-tract, Deemawso Township and farmers encountered with low yield of corn. Besides, the farmers are still encountering with the infestation in their farmlands.

The villager, Nyar Reh, from Tay Hsu Leh Village said the farmers are applying pesticides to their infested corn farms, over 500 acers, and he could not effort it as the price of pesticide is very expensive.

“Some farms could not even effort pesticide anymore. Some could effort because we need to apply pesticide for three or four times and the cost is very high. Thus, it becomes like you take a loss due to the cost of pesticide, and the crop yield declines half.” he said.

He continued saying that they had to cultivate twice due to the pest including the drought. In the past non-infestation period, the farmers could contribute 80 to 120 packages of corn, one package capable 25 peitthas. However, it said the corn farmers are facing with loss that they could contribute below 80 packages only due to the infestation.

The Deputy Director of Agriculture Department, Daw Rose Htoo Day Myar, said they have been raised awareness farmers about the prevention of infestations, and so far they could not conduct it due to the public gathering restriction for COVID-19.

“What we support is we have awareness raising activities. However, we still could not conduct it due to the public gathering restriction for the COVID. We have plan to do it though. But the matter is public gathering is restricted.” she said.

Daw Rose Htoo Day Myar said since the pesticide is expensive, they are sharing the method of making low-cost organic pesticide to unaffordable farmers in order to reduce the pest infestations.

“We did it last year at Kone Thar Village, Tay Hsu Leh Village-tract. The shared method is that we first mixed up ginger, garlic, and chili altogether as solution. After that, add water one ration four (1:4) and spray it to farm. We requested them to spray effectively. This method might not get rid the pest completely. It is just to reduce the infestation.” Daw Rose Htoo Day Myar kept saying.

Regarding to the armyworm infestation, it can be found they present on the leaves with damaged whorl, or the leaves are being damaged.

The armyworm infestations to corn farms occurred in Pe’ Kon Township since 2018, and many farmers fired up plenty of their corn farms. Likewise, the farmers from Kayah State are also saying they are currently encountering with the issue of armyworm infestation.

These armyworm infestations are spreading to the whole state, and it can feed and damage over (80) types of crops such as corn, paddy, nut including other vegetables. Besides, it can fly up to (100) kilometers by one night.

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