Armyworms have damaged crops on at least 700 hectares of onion farms in Pangasinan province, which has resulted in reduced production and prices going up since last month. While the extent of the damage had yet to be determined, farm gate price of onions rose from P40 a kilo in December 2020 to P45 a kilo this month.
High-value crops coordinator Rodolfo Ragos: “Armyworms are most destructive at larval stage when they can decimate an entire farm in one day, or hours, if the onions are still young or seedlings.” He added that some portions of the affected farms could still be salvaged.
Onion farming covers around 1,500 ha of agricultural land in Bayambang, mainly producing bulbs of the red variety. Less than 100 ha are planted to the white variety.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the municipal agriculture office have given farmers “lure traps” to help eradicate the worms.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com