Kupang (ANTARA) - Head of the Agriculture Office of Sikka District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Mauritius Terwinyu da Cunha said that some 2,540 hectares of maize plantations in the district were attacked by fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda. "The attack of the Spodoptera has been occurring since last month and generally occurs in the northern region of Sikka," he said when contacted from Kupang Tuesday, and is related to a similar attack in the district area on Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province.
There were massive attacks in several districts around the North Coast of Sikka such as Kewapante, Kangae, Alok, East Alok, Alok, West, Magepanda, and Waigete, he said.
These areas have low rainfall compared to the central and southern regions so the armyworm has grown rapidly.
"The condition of plants in the northern region is now more affected by drought, so it is easily attacked by the armyworm," he said.
Related to the rehabilitation efforts, there was assistance in the form of insecticides and hand-spraying facilities to help control the pests.
Chemical treatment is not recommended because it contains toxic substances that can kill plants.
"Even though we have supplied drugs and these facilities, we do not recommend it as a priority because the condition of the plants is dry," Mauritius said.
He has advised farmers to make efforts to mechanically control the Spodoptera in every affected plant.
Since there has been rainfall in the areas affected by pests, one hopes pest the will decrease, he said.
Source: Antara News