Basar: In Arunachal Pradesh, scientists have detected the infestation of the invasive insect called fall armyworm, which is known to gather in groups and cause massive damage to crops while in the larval stage.

The regional unit of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) at Basar, and the West Siang Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of Arunachal Pradesh have found fall armyworm in the maize fields of Soi, Pagi, Gori, and Bam villages in Leparada district of the state.

In a survey conducted between May 27 and May 30, scientists found that the large-scale infestation had destroyed more than half of the crops.

“The infestation is greater than 75 per cent, destroying more than 50 per cent of the standing crop,” the ICAR regional centre of Arunachal Pradesh informed.

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Describing fall armyworm as an endemic pest, ICAR soil scientist Ampee Tasung said the infestations have been occurring since the last four years, adding that the upcoming monsoon season will be a critical time.

A statement issued by the ICAR regional centre in Arunachal Pradesh explained the measures to be taken for pest control while urging farmers to use Emamectin benzoate five per cent SG (0.4 g per litre water) or Spinosad 45 per cent SC (0.3 ml per litre water) at 10 days’ intervals, or whenever needed.

Installation of fall armyworm pheromone traps for mass trapping, and pouring sand with ash (9:1) into whorls of maize plants in the field has also been advised.

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