Nabarangpur: In Nabarangpur district, a foreign pest species named ‘Fall Army Worm’ (FAW) has destroyed half the maize crop. They seem to have come from Chhattisgarh.
According to Agriculture Department sources, this year the farmers of this district will suffer substantial loss due to this. These larvae feed on corn leaves and attack the tassels or ears of corn.
In 2016, the FAW originated in US and Nigeria. Later on, it spread to African countries and then Asia. It is said, towards the end of summer 2018 FAW crossed nearly 2,000 km and reached Karnataka. Surprisingly, this pest is capable of travelling over 100 km a day and lay about 1,000 eggs.
FAW has also widely attacked crops in Nabarangpur district, including paddy, wheat and finger millet (ragi).
The pests have attacked maize in Umerkote, Raighar, Jharigaon, Chandahandi blocks now. They could spread to entire Odisha soon.
Agriculture Officer Rashmiranjan Sahu said, “The chances of controlling FAW pests are very less. The Agriculture Department has already started conducting awareness programmes for farmers.”