Armyworm infestation worries farmers in Somwarpet

A paddy field affected by the armyworm infestation at Hirikara in Somwarpet taluk.

Armyworms have started destroying the paddy crop in Somwarpet taluk. Acres of paddy cultivation has been infested with armyworms.

The worms hide under soil clods and in cracks along the paddy fields during day time and enter the field at night. The farmers are worried about losing the entire crop. 

The farmers had sown Tunga, Tanu, I R 64, Bangla Rice and Atheera varieties of rice. Of 10,000 hectares of land, paddy has been cultivated on 7,600 hectares in the district. The paddy will be ready for harvest by the end of November. 

The pests consume the leaves and grains of the plant and leave the stem behind. 

Harish from Shanthalli said, "A majority of the paddy was affected by the flood at Kothnalli, Kudigana, Mallalli, Nadnalli, Benkalli and Yadooru. We have been struggling to save the remaining paddy crop. Now, the armyworm infestation has affected the crop." 

The armyworm infestation has increased day by day. Now, we may not get the crop, said farmer H E Ramesh from Hirikara village. 

Farmers said the speed at which these armyworms are attacking crops in the region is unprecedented. The worms are active during the night and they consume the paddy corns.

Assistant director of agriculture department Dr Rajashekar said that Chlorpyrifos and Cypermethrin should be sprayed on the affected field after 5.30 pm, which will help in controlling the problem. By spraying a mixture of 50 kg paddy husk, 5 kg jaggery in 10 litres of water, farmers can protect their crop.

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