Spread of army worm brought under control
‘Army worm’ (swarming caterpillar) had wreaked havoc in about 1,500 hectares of paddy fields in Pullazhi and nearby areas. Spread of ‘army worm’ in the paddy fields of Pullazhi in the district has been brought under control, for now. A review meeting of agriculture officials called by Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Ratnakaran here on Thursday came to the conclusion that the intensified pest control measures employed had been effective in checking the rapid spread of the pest.
Farmers were asked to report infestation of army worm immediately to the agricultural officers, the District Agriculture Officer (2333297) or the Paddy Mission Director (9447625698). (brought to us by none other than Nemani)
Uday Shanhkar writes:
One wonders whether the army worm attack and the recent floods in South
India are the result of what ever irreversible climate change that has
already taken place.
Are the non-chemical techniques,particularly the light traps and pheromone
traps developed for effectively controlling Red Hairy Caterpillar, are
applicable in the case of army worm?
Nemani's reply (22.11.2009)
Not only in South but also attacked in North, first it was the lack of rain and then the pest attack, both on soyabean and cotton - the two major crops of Vidarbha. To compound the problems of the farmers in the region, Paddy - the third major Kharif crop too has been attacked by the armyworm. The pest attack is so severe that it has completely eaten up the rice plants from the roots to the tip both in nurseries and the transplanted fields in most paddy areas of east Vidarbha. The government is yet to take stock of the monetary loss.
The pest attack has been noticed even in some fields in rice belts of Gondia and Bhandara (Maharashtra state). But here it is very mild and is likely to be controlled with pesticides. The pest attack will further reduce the paddy output as this season only 50% transplantation has taken place due to low rainfall. The areas where the army worm has attacked paddy fields heavily include Mul, Nagbhid, Sindewahi, Gadchiroli, Chamorshi, Armori, Wadsa, Lakhandur, Akodi, Sakoli and Deori (Maharashtra state).
The pest was noticed for the first time on paddy in many areas in east Vidarbha by a team of experts from the Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV). They were conducting a general tour of the area for monitoring the status of crops.
The army worm has attacked the soyabean and cotton crops in the last two years too. But it is for the first time that the pest has attacked the paddy crop.
We are trying to get any application in the case of Armyworm.
Om Rupela, former Principal Scientist, ICRISAT:
I have following queries on the above subject and would appreciate inputs/comments of those who are following the damage by this insect.
1. What was the level of infestation of this insect on a given crop on the fields of the "organic farmers" versus "conventional farmers"?
2. If the differences on the two types of fields were large, did any one collect data on "damage percent"?
Comments/Inputs will be appreciated?
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