The Negros Oriental Provincial Agriculture Office is sending a team of technicians to La Libertad town, to check on the reported infestation of tongro virus in certain rice fields in the municipality.
Cesar Tejedor, president of the Solonggon, Manghulyawon Irrigators Association, reported to provincial agriculturist Gregorio Paltinca, during the recent irrigators evaluation conference that members of the association had suffered considerable losses in yield because of what they believe to be tongro virus infestation.
They claimed that the certified seeds given to them were defective, and were vulnerable to the virus. They admitted that some of them lack know-how on what to do when the tongro virus attacks their rice fields.
Gov. Roel Degamo said he will send the rice action officer of the province, Bernard Limbaga, this week, to investigate and make recommendations.
Limbaga said it is possible that the planted certified seedlings lack fertilizer, or were flooded by the heavy downpour.
The other possibility is the practice of in-breeding or mixing the certified seeds with other varieties, that will result in poor quality and low-resistance seeds. One symptom of a tongro-infested rice field is the yellowish color of the plantation.
Limbaga called on rice farmers to immediately report any infestation for immediate isolation and prevent further damage.
Recently, the same virus had infested more than 80 hectares of rice fields in Tanjay City also in Negros Oriental.*JG
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