By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Provincial agriculturist, Atty. Japhet Masculino, confirmed yesterday the black bug infestation in the southern part of Negros Occidental has expanded to around 14 hectares.
Last week, it was reported the infestation was affecting 4.6 hectares of rice plantations in Barangay Batuan, La Carlota City.
Masculino noted, the infestation in La Carlota City has expanded to eight hectares, with the addition of six hectares affected in Barangay Payauan, Candoni.
He said experts have already been deployed to the affected areas to seek out a solution, while light trapping operations in La Carlota City captures 60 kilograms of black bugs in one night.
According to the provincial agriculturist, the bugs kill rice plantations by extracting sap from the plants.
He also suggested farmers enroll in the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program.
Masculino estimates damages to be around P250,000./DGB, WDJ