Rice tungro disease hits Ifugao
by Dan B. Codamon
LAGAWE, Ifugao (16 October) -- The dreaded rice tungro disease is infesting rice plantations and exacting great economic loss to farmers in the province prompting them to ask assistance from both the local and national government.
According to the Damage Report released September 22,2006 by the Provincial Agricultural, Environment and Natural Resources Office (PAENRO) here, eight of the 11 municipalities are greatly affected by infestation covering an area of nearly 2,000 hectares of rice plantations.
Avelino Lunag, Agriculturist 2 of PAENRO who gathered and consolidated the report said that about 6,000 metric tons of rice production valued at about P49 million have been incurred. This can increase if all the data will be completed.
The rice plants greatly affected are those located at the lower elevation of the province and are on their vegetative stages mostly planted from July to August, he added.
Responding to the plight of the farmers, the Sanguniang Panlalawigan (SP) endorsed to the Provincial Governor Benjamin Cappleman the release of P500,000 from the 2006 Calamity Fund of Ifugao as rice seed assistance to the farmers in time for the next cropping.
To prevent more damages and economic losses, the PAENRO is conducting massive information drive regarding this viral disease of rice to the farmers.
Among the advices to avoid damage levels of the tungro disease are choosing a resistant variety, determining the planting time, monitoring the fields, using insecticide only if needed, destroying the stubbles of affected rice and observing the fallow-period.
Tungro is a viral disease of rice characterized by yellow to orange mottled leaves and the diseased plants are moderately to severely stunted and are irregularly distributed in the fields.
The disease is spread only by the green leaf hoppers from the diseased to the healthy plants and the rice plants at tillering stage are most susceptible because they are more preferred by the green leaf hoppers.
Tungro incidence mostly occur in rice planted at different time compared to a synchronous planting. (PIA/Ifugao) [top]