Farmers warned to be on the oookout for dry weather pests
“As the temperatures begin to rise, pests become more active, feeding on crops, hence farmers should be on the lookout for these pests,” he said.Farmers must be wary of pests that thrive with rising temperatures that are being recorded, an expert has warned.
pests were more active in warm or hot weather and would always be present during that time. Mr Sakuhuni said this was the reason why extension practitioners always encouraged farmers to plant their winter crops early. In the winter period, most pest activities are subdued by the low temperatures.
“The late crops always suffer pest infestation,” he said. “However, for winter wheat and sugar beans, aphids are one class of pests that has serious effects if not monitored and controlled. Uncontrolled, aphids have the potential to reduce crop yields to zero.”
Due to the rising temperatures, Mr Sakuhuni said, farmers needed to regularly scout their crops for aphids, as well as other pests and spray to control crop damage.
He also said farmers had the option to use contact spray as well as use systemic insecticides on their crops. Controlling pests ensures that high quality crops with few blemishes are harvested enabling farmers to fetch better earnings from the market. Pests can also be controlled through sound integrated pest management programmes, he said.
“It is of no doubt that pests are nuisances in their own right and should not be taken lightly or else the havoc they wreak would be unprecedented,” he said.