Global agriculture leader Corteva Agriscience, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DA), recently held a forum for farmer leaders, agriculture organizations, and industry leaders to help control the growing Fall Armyworm (FAW) infestations across several provinces in the Philippines. Corteva invited agriculture experts to discuss the spread and status of FAW in the country, as well as to offer sustainable solutions and strategies to manage the pest problem.
Fall Armyworm feeds on several plant species but is most common in corn crops. It is native to the tropical regions of the western hemisphere from the United States to Argentina and has quickly become prevalent across Southeast Asia since it arrived in the region in 2018. In the Philippines, FAW infestation was first reported in June 2019 in Piat, Cagayan Province. To date, a total of 19,646 hectares of corn crops and 160 hectares of sugarcanes have been infested in almost all regions in the country.
“The FAW Forum is a part of our commitment to provide continuous learning and education to Filipino farmers under the Memorandum of Understanding inked with the Department of Agriculture last year. We wanted to stage a cross-sharing on FAW situations in the Philippines to deeply understand the threats and impact it poses to our agriculture sector. At the same time, it was an avenue to exchange ideas on how to further improve our FAW management strategies. said Arun Mittal, Corteva Agriscience Philippines Country Director.
According to the data by the DA, if left unaddressed, FAW infestations can potentially result in an estimated 20% yield loss from 2.5 million hectares of corn fields with an estimated volume loss of 1.6 million metric tons valued at Php 20 billion within corn’s crop year. Despite resources being sometime inadequate, the collective effort of the DA and agriculture leaders helped the sector achieve a decline in cases, as of October 5, 2020.
“To fully address our FAW problem, we call on the private sector, the academe, local government units, and other institutions that have both the technical and financial capabilities to collaborate with us. Let’s work together to fight FAW,” said William Dar, Department of Agriculture Secretary, at the Corteva Agriscience FAW forum. “I congratulate Corteva and other collaborators for this joint endeavor.”
Corteva solutions to control and manage FAW
Corteva has made integrated and sustainable approaches for FAW management available to Filipino farmers. These strategies include incorporation of insect tolerant traits into superior corn varieties using modern plant breeding and biotechnological tools, as well as conventional crop protection solutions – including both seed applied as well as in-field applied crop protection technologies. The agriculture leader offers superior hybrid corn varieties such as Pioneer® brand Intrasect® blended refuge products, also popularly known as Pioneer YHR, which provides control for both Asian corn borer and Fall Armyworm. It also provides tolerance to glyphosate herbicide. Intrasect blended refuge products have a biosafety permit from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and is registered as plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) under the FPA. Other FPA-approved products of Corteva for the control of FAW are Exalt® 60 SC, a foliar insecticide containing spinetoram which is a green chemistry product, and Lumivia®, another insecticide used as seed treatment to protect young seedlings from damage by early pests.
“Corteva develops technologies to help protect the crops and increase the productivity of our farmers since with high yield potential come high income potential. Agriculture is the backbone of the Philippine economy, and we believe that the individual improvements of the livelihood of each of our farmers mean the progress of the entire nation,” said Mittal.
With Corteva’s integrated and sustainable approaches that include seed applied technology, crop protection, and seed genetics and traits, farmers will have access to solutions for more effective management of Fall Armyworm and to protect their yield.
“I tried the Pioneer® hybrid P3530YHR this recent second cropping, which was usually the time when the attack of FAW gets more alarming. My crops were not infested at all by FAW, but the nearby crops, where farmers use chemical sprays repeatedly to eradicate the pest, were unfortunately affected,” shared Conrado Hidalgo, a farmer from Tayug, Pangasinan. [‘Yong Pioneer® hybrid P3530YHR, sinubukan ko noong nakaraang second crop. Bale, second crop ng corn iyon, ‘yon ang karamihan ng atake ng FAW, ‘yong Fall Armyworm. ‘Yong tanim ko, hindi naman siya nagalaw ng FAW. Pero ‘yong mga katabi ko, ayon ang parati na lang may spray, para lang mapuksa ‘yung mga naninira na insekto sa kanila.]
The forum registered 94 online attendees, including select farmer-leaders, key stakeholders from the DA national and regional offices, as well as attached agencies like PhilRice, Regional Crop Protection Centers, LGUs – Municipal and Provincial Agriculturists, and PhilMaize.
Corteva Agriscience is a global company completely dedicated to agriculture. It is committed to advancing sustainable agriculture to enrich lives and the planet for generations to come. To learn more about its sustainability efforts, visit <corteva.com/sustainability>. More information on Corteva may be found at www.corteva.com or on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.