NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
Some hectares of rice lands in the province of Bohol have been infested with rice black bug that would eventually affect bigger areas if not to be controlled or eradicated.
Lorebien Lagapa and Alquin Boncales from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) said the rice black bug has started to damage the 3 hectares (has.) rice lands of Golden Estoy, 1.5 has. of Jonel Potot and the half has. of Diosdado Paguray booth in Purok 1, Calanggaman, Ubay, Bohol.
Estoy standing crop is at the panicle initiation stage; while hard dough to ripening stage for Potot and Paguray.
Potot confirmed that the black bug infestation has started at his farm and affected the adjacent farms of Estoy and Paguray.
He said that they already conducted spraying using pesticides but the infestation doesn’t control and instead it has spread.
Lagapa said that they have known the incidence through the verbal report from Municipal Agriculturist Marianito Doydora.
She said the OPA sent immediately Boncales to the areas to give technical assistance.
She said that the OPA had already requested verbally the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 7 to send Metarhizium-Biological Control agent to control the affected areas whose standing crop is at the panicle or booting stage, however, not applicable to the hand dough to ripening stage.
Lagapa explained that they could not make a formal request because the protocol being followed is that the formal letter request from the Municipal Agriculture Office must be attached to the official letter request from OPA to DA-RFO7.
She said that they scheduled to conduct a light-trapping operation to kill the rice black bug on the first week of April which is full moon.
Lagapa said that after harvesting the affected areas of black bug infestation including the rice hays would be burned out to kill all the pests.
The province of Bohol has 47,378 has. of rice production areas of which 26,311 has. are rainfed and 21,014 are irrigated being tilled by 60,063 rice farmers with an average age of 57. (Atoy Cosap)