A type of small wasp might be introduced to combat an influx of fall armyworms, the Council of Agriculture said on Monday.
The crop-destroying fall armyworm was first found on a Miaoli County farm last month and has since spread to other areas.
Trichogramma are important biological control agents, as they lay their eggs within the eggs of other insects.
Preliminary testing with three Trichogramma species have been successful, Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine Director-General Feng Hai-tung (馮海東) said, adding that if field trials are also successful, the measures would be introduced.
From June 8 to Monday, 206 fall armyworm sightings had been reported across the nation, excluding Chiayi County, where there were no sightings, council Deputy Minister Chen Junne-jih (陳駿季) said.
Of the 118 sightings of mature fall armyworm moths, the council has killed larvae or moths in 81 sightings and prescribed preventive measures for 122, while the remaining three have yet to be handled, he added.
However, the total affected crop area is below the 20 percent level predicted by studies from other nations, with only 64.17 hectares, or 1.22 percent, of the total 5,279 hectares of cornfields affected, Chen added.
Fall armyworms have not been found during inspections of crops such as sweet potatoes, grazing grass, peanuts, wheat, sorghum or sugarcane, while rice paddies, sweet potato patches and grass fields near affected areas are also devoid of armyworm larvae, he said.
Chen urged farmers to be vigilant and report sightings to the bureau as soon as possible, as fall armyworms could infest other crops.
Crop rotation and thoroughly flooding a field after turning the soil are the best preventive measures, Chen said, adding that flooding would prevent most larvae from hatching.
Eleven council-approved pesticides are still effective, although they should be cycled to prevent the armyworms developing resistance or immunity, Chen said.
The council is working to approve more pesticides, Chen said, adding that consistent updates would be posted on the council’s Web site.
The council is to provide a comprehensive pest management template before embarking on the third stage of pest control management, in which farmers would be responsible for managing their own fields, he said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,