ASSESSMENT OF SCALE INSECT INFESTATION IN BATANGAS BARED
Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Administrator Euclides G. Forbes bared that contrary to alarming media reports, coconut scale insect infestation in Batangas is contained at six percent of the total coconut population in the province.
Citing assessment report from Batangas the Administrator said that of the total coconut area of 34,932.7 hectares covering 34 municipalities, 9 municipalities with a total of 2,054.46 hectares or only 6 percent are affected by the scale insect attacking coconut. Of the 1,078 barangays 74 are affected.
Administrator Forbes has directed field personnel to continuously take actions to prevent infestation to reach epidemic level so as not no affect nearby provinces like Laguna and Quezon.
As directed, mechanical as well as biological contol measures are being applied. In young palms, the scale insects can be controlled by scrapping them off or spraying them off with a jet of soapy water. Washing infested plant parts or a brisk wash spray of water can be helpful in reducing populations, particularly in cases of small infestations and/or in young palms. Leaf pruning to remove infested parts is continuously being done and disposed of by burning.
For biological control measures predators are continuously being released. Ten cages for the continuous rearing of predators have already been established in the community . Some 20,000 to 60,000 predators will be released within the next three months.
The Administrator said that according to the report, population of coconut trees that have been pruned have shown signs of recovery.
The administrator commends other partners such as the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Plant Quarantine Service (PQS), Department of Agriculture – National Crop Protection Center (DA-NCPC) and Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC).
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