CUTWORMS are among the most destructive pests of onion.They can devour the whole field of young plants in just one night. How does that happen? Well, the moths lay their eggs on dry soil. When the eggs hatch, the worms are voracious eaters at night and can finish the whole field before daylight.
However, there’s a way to avoid cutworm damage, according to Wencelito Gomez, general manager of Kalasag Farmer Producers Cooperative based in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija. The trick, he says, is to plant the seedlings early, meaning in October to November. By doing so, the onions will already be harvestable by February the following year.
Gomez says that cutworms are usually prevalent in February when the temperature starts getting hotter. By that time there will no longer be young onions in the field which are vulnerable to cutworm attack.
Kalasag co-op, by the way, is a contract grower of onions and hot pepper for a major fast food chain. Last season, they produced 800 tons of white onion which is used in making sandwiches, burgers and sauces.