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Army worms cause havoc in N. China

08-15-2012 09:42 BJT

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Large numbers of army worms have been invading much of Jilin province and Hebei province in the country's north from the beginning of August. Crop output in the area will sharply decline this year as the pests wreak major damage to crops.

Even an experienced farmer may find himself in a panic when such devastation visits his fields. Zhang Bengui from Nong’an County in Jilin province has been a farmer for more than 30 years. He says the sight of his corn-crop devastated by pests nearly broke his heart.

Large numbers of army worms have been invading much of Jilin province and
Hebei province in the country's north from the beginning of August.

Zhang Bengui, villager, Nong'an County, said, "We all have no idea of what to do. We'll buy pesticides no matter how expensive they are if only they tell us they'll work."

Some have refitted four-wheelers to spray larger volumes of pesticides, but such contraptions themselves can cause damage, and they seem to have had little impact on the scourge.

Zhan Hongwei, villager, Nong'an County, said, "It's just not working. I have sprayed pesticides more than three times, but the army worms are still there. In the beginning they sold us pesticides for 80 yuan, now it costs 200 yuan."

Mr. Zhan bought a second-hand sprayer that won't damage plants and is much more efficient. But it was quite expensive, so he's the only one in the whole village with this sprayer. And there's huge demand for such sprayers in the county too, 40,000 hectares of corn fields here have been hit.

Nong'an is not the only one county that has been hit by the pest.

Zhang Shumin, Vice-Chief of Plant Protection, Hebei Provincial Agricultural Department, said, "In Hebei province, there are 660 thousand hectares of land suffering from the army worm plague. They're mostly found in areas north of Baoding city, including Langfang, Tangshan and Qinhuangdao. This is the most serious pest insect invasion in 20 years."

Mr. Zhang says that recent rains are to blame. For their part, local authorities have begun allocating funds needed to try to fight back against the worm.


Editor:Bai Yang |Source:

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