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Fall armyworm hits Midlands

Fall armyworm hits Midlands | The Chronicle


Fall armyworm

Fall armyworm

Lovemore Zigara, Midlands Correspondent
MIDLANDS Province has lost about 20 percent of its maize crop due to an outbreak of the fall armyworm.

Agritex Provincial Crop and Livestock Officer Mrs Medlinah Magwenzi said farmers will not realise their yield targets because of the fall armyworm.

“The fall armyworm has really affected the maize crop in the province. Most of the farmers who planted the maize crop have challenges to do with the fall armyworm.

“On average 20 percent of the maize crop has been affected. This will have an effect on the yield which we expect to go down,” she said.

Mrs Magwenzi said farmers should work with extension officers to deal with the pest.  She said 240 traps had been set countrywide to contain its spread.

Meanwhile, Mrs Magwenzi discouraged dryland farmers against planting maize now saying the crop was mostly likely to fail as it will be affected by winter conditions.

She said some farmers had been planting maize after the heavy rains that fell in most parts of the province on Monday.

“We are discouraging farmers who might want to plant a new crop now especially following the rains that we have received. The challenge will be that we’ll soon experience the winter season and this will inhibit growth meaning that they will make a loss. Farmers should not plant unless they are in irrigation schemes,” she said.

Some parts of the country have been receiving rains since last week, which has brought relief to farmers after a long dry spell.

Mrs Magwenzi said only maize between four and six weeks old might survive owing to the current rains.

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