COA warns fruit farmers against stink bugs

PARASITIC SOLUTION: As use of insecticides should be halted when plants begin to blossom, the council is to deploy 16.6 million wasps at lychee and longan farms

Taipei Times
Date: Feb 13, 2019
By: Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

A “litchi stinkbug” is pictured in an undated photograph. The pest can cause extensive damage to agricultural products.
Photo courtesy of the Kaohsiung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station

The Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday alerted farmers to an increase in the breeding activity of lychee stink bugs as the weather turns warmer, advising them to use biological methods to combat the insects when fruit trees begin to blossom.

Lychee stink bugs (Tessaratoma papillosa), which are often found on lychee, longan, Taiwan golden-rain and Chinese soapberry trees, are considered pests by farmers, as they feed on sprouts, the council said.

As they last year caused serious damage to domestic lychee and longan production, the council has planned pre-emptive measures after meeting with local officials and farmers, COA Chief Secretary Chang Chih-sheng (張致盛) told a news conference in Taipei, but added that statistics for such agricultural losses were not available yet.

Domestic fields growing lychee and longan plants amount to 20,000 hectares, an important crop in central and southern regions, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

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