Army worms de­stroy Burk­ina Faso crops

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM - — Bloomberg News

OUAGADOUGOU, Burk­ina Faso — An in­va­sion of fall army worms has dam­aged more than 74,132 acres of farm­land spread over 13 re­gions in Burk­ina Faso, ac­cord­ing to the Agri­cul­ture Min­istry.

The cater­pil­lars have at­tacked corn, sorghum, rice and other ce­re­als in the West African na­tion, and the dam­age may be more wide­spread as the govern­ment is still as­sess­ing the af­fected ar­eas, Moussa Ou­at­tara, a crop pro­tec­tion di­rec­tor at the Agri­cul­ture Min­istry, said by phone Fri­day. The pest “at­tacks mainly corn, but when there’s no corn they at­tack other crops,” he said.

Fall army worms have rav­aged crops from Zam­bia to Ghana since ar­riv­ing in Africa from the Amer­i­cas last year. Armies of the black-striped cater­pil­lars can span miles.

The govern­ment has spent $2.3 mil­lion dis­tribut­ing in­sec­ti­cide to fight the out­break, but has ap­pealed to farm­ers to buy their own pes­ti­cides, Ou­at­tara said.

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