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Agriculture Ministry Responds To Beet Armyworm Concerns

 

Officers from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) have responded to the complaints from farmers at agro parks in South Manchester that their crops particularly, escallion, are being destroyed by beet armyworms.      The agro parks being affected are in New Forrest and Duff House.      J.C. Hutchinson, Minister without Portfolio in the Agriculture Ministry, said the farmers in South Manchester have reported that they have suffered tremendous losses since last week due to the beet armyworms.

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victorgillramirez.com
Mr. Hutchinson said RADA officers will be seeking to determine what caused the beet armyworms to get out of control.

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dolarve.com
     The farmers, he said, have been using various methods to keep the pests suppressed, but he stressed that they must all be using the control methods at the same time for them to be effective.

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“If you have ten farmers who are doing the controls and you have one farmer who is not doing the controls, it will expand in that farmer’s field and then it will get over to the ones who have been controlling it,” he emphasized.

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  In the meantime, Mr. Hutchinson said there is also concern that the worms will spread to neighbouring South St. Elizabeth. “We are actually looking at preventative measures, putting in traps and so  forth, educating the farmers in South St.

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Elizabeth where they grow a lot of onions, escallions and so forth, whereby we will be able to catch it before it reaches over there,” the minister asserted.

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    St. Elizabeth farmer Ricardo Roach, on the other hand, believes that parish has already been infiltrated by the pest.

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He said over the last five weeks, 70 per cent of the escallion in Comma Pen have been eaten by the worms.

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     According to him, all farmers in the area are being affected.

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