Harvest drops in Pangasinan due to rice black bug, rats

STA. BARBARA, Pangasinan — The problem of rice black bug (RBB) is not yet over as it continued to infest rice farms in Sta. Barbara and adjacent towns.

Ludovico Ocampo, former president of the Sinucalan River Irrigators Association (SRIA), on Thursday said that this time, the problem is compounded by the emergence of swarms of rats in their farms.

He said the yield of their farms declined during the last harvesting season as a result of combined RBB and rats.

Harvesting is still going on in many areas of Sta. Barbara.

Ocampo said they are now hesitant to plant rice for the second cropping season as they are afraid the RBB would again destroy their crops.

He also said their federation has decided to ask the government to send them chemicals to lick RBB and teach control measures against rats that are environment-friendly.

He said they already referred the problem to the Municipal Agriculture Office and to the Provincial Agriculture Office.

The pest problem is not only confined in Sta. Barbara but also in the adjacent towns of Urdaneta, Mapandan and Calasiao. PNA-northboundasia.com