Battambang: Early rains and a following dry spell have caused pest problems in many corn fields in Battambang province.
Last year thousands of hectares of corn crops were destroyed, mostly in the northwest.
According to officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries carrying out local field investigations, the recent invasive species Fall Armyworm have been found in at least 3 districts.
“There were only brief showers recently, and then the hot weather resumed. This condition created a large breeding environment for spodoptera frugiperda” the Ministry said.
According to the preliminary assessment by the Ministry of Agriculture, over 1100 hectares of corn have been destroyed by the moth larvae, which originated in Central and South America before reaching Africa in 2016 and India, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos in 2018.
In some areas as much as 80% of the local corn crop has been affected.
The Crop Protection and Plant Health Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has sent technical officials to guide farmers to remove pests, with methods such as clearing weeds in the surrounding fields and utilizing fallow soil to remove pest habitats.
Farmers are also urged to install insect traps to catch pests and reduce their numbers.
In addition, technical officials are also instructing farmers to use pesticide methods correctly.