Farmers urged to lookout for fall armyworm

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Marondera (New Ziana) – Mashonaland East provincial agriculture extension officer, Leonard Munamati has warned farmers in the region to be on the lookout for the armyworm pest.

The fall armyworm is a trans-boundary insect believed to hibernate underground and surface when new plants start developing.

In an interview, Munamati said farmers should control weeds and always monitor their fields.

Early detection and remedial action such as spraying was the most effective way to win the war against the marauding pest.

“This time of the farming season, farmers should be strong when it comes to weed control. In that case, they should apply the recommended rates and dosages of chemicals on their crops.

“They must also be alert of the fall armyworm by regularly scouting their fields and monitoring every time to check for signs of the pests and control at an early stage. Identifying these pests at the earliest stage of invasion is every farmer’s first line of defence,” he said.

Munamati added that farmers should not experiment with chemicals in controlling the fall armyworm.

He said: “I would like to implore our farmers to desist from experimenting with certain chemicals towards the containment of the fall armyworm. If they do so, the pests will develop resistance and that will be a serious problem in the end.”

Meanwhile, the provincial agriculture extension officer called on farmers to increase the dipping frequencies of their livestock.

He said the incessant rains that have been pounding throughout the country are likely to increase the risk of tick-borne diseases.

Tick-borne diseases are spread between animals by the bite of an infected tick with the most notorious being red water, heart water and gall-sickness.

“The rains that we have been receiving give breeding space for livestock parasites and farmers should take the dipping of their cattle seriously,” Munamati said.
New Ziana

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