By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist yesterday said Himamaylan City and Pontevedra reported total crop losses of P2.4 million due to an infestation of rice grain bugs last month.
Provincial Agriculturist, Atty. Japhet Masculino, noted Pontevedra took the brunt of the losses, reporting P2,053,760 in damages, impacting 33 farmers. Himamaylan City, meanwhile, reported crop losses of P391,776 with nine farmers affected.
The provincial official said they have distributed 31 packs of metarhizium anisopliae, a fungus used as a microbial pesticide, to the two local government units, which was provided by the Department of Agriculture-Region VI Regional Crop Protection Center.
Masculino also said their crop protection team conducted pest monitoring and field assessments in the two areas, as well as information campaigns regarding pest surveillance and management.
Rice grain bugs resemble black ants and feed on rice by sucking out the contents of the developing grains./DGB, WDJ