Corn pest reporting to go digital

Created on Thursday, 19 March 2020 Published Date

Reporting of pests and diseases affecting corn shall be digital soon. This was learned during the Corn Pest Surveillance Training conducted on March 12-13, 2020 at the Balay Alumni, Visca, Baybay City, Leyte.

The project is part of the research on the development of early warning system and database management of corn arthropod pests and diseases. This is spearheaded by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), together with the DA Regional Field Offices through the Regional Crop Protection Center.

Representatives from the Bureau of Plant Industry discussed an overview of the project to the corn technicians who attended the training. Afterwards, the use of the Android-based application through a mobile phone was demonstrated.

Accordingly, a national surveillance network will be established from the region down to the farmer’s level. Monitoring sites to be established are the top three corn producing provinces in the region. For each province, the top three municipalities with the highest area planted to corn will be selected for the project.

In the region, the project shall be piloted in Baybay City, Dulag and Hilongos in Leyte; Maasin City, Bontoc and Malitbog in Southern Leyte; while, Pinabacdao, Paranas and Basey in Samar.

Among the data to be collected during the field visit are demographic profile; farm area and location with geotagging; current standing crop, including the variety, stage, management practices and cropping history; and, presence of insect pests, diseases and dominant weeds.

All data products can be accessed through web. When pest infestation is observed, a warning situation will notify showing the location of the farm site. A pest advisory will be forwarded to the concerned region containing management strategy to control and manage the pest immediately.

After the lecture, the group proceeded to the field to practice the use of the application and conduct sampling in the farm.

Meanwhile, technical staff of the Regional Crop Protection Center gave the participants a review of the major pests and diseases affecting corn. Presentation focused on fall armyworm since the sightings of this pest was verified in some parts of Leyte. The center recommended the strengthening of pest surveillance and management activities to deal with the threat of this pest.

On the other hand, the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority discussed the safe handling practices of fertilizers and pesticides.

After the training, an enumerator shall be assigned to each province for the data gathering. Support from the local government units was sought for the successful implementation of the project.  (PAUL NIGEL D. CUSTODIO, Information Officer I; FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)

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