HERE’S HOW! Don’t allow cutworms to wipe out your onions!

Destructive cutworm, prevalent when the weather gets hotter in February.
White onions grown for a major food chain.

CUTWORMS are among the most destructive pests of onion.They can devour the whole field of young plants in just one night. They can devour an entire field in just one sweep! 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.

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