SOLANA, Cagayan, April 15 (PIA) -- A demonstration run of pesticide spraying against the brown planthopper (BPH) insect using an aerial drone was conducted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Field Office 2 in Barangay Ubong in this municipality.
The infestation by the BPH was reported earlier in March where hundreds of hectares of farmland in Cagayan Valley were affected especially in the provinces of Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya. The agency's Science Research Specialist Mindaflor Aquino said that BPHs can lay 200 eggs in just one cycle and can destroy 50 to 100 percent of the crops.
Drone spraying is one of the agricultural management practices that the DA plans to introduce to local farmers. Dr. Marvin Luis, DA Regional Rice Program Coordinator said that the practice has potential in the implementation of digital and precision agriculture under the agency's One DA approach.
The DA has partnered with licensed drone supplier New Hope Corporation in acquiring aerial drones for the program's implementation.
According to Anthony Tan of the New Hope Corporation, drone technology was already utilized by the International Rice Research Institute and the Philippine Rice Research Institute a few years ago.
He explained that the advantages of such a technology are faster farming activities, lower expenses on labor since it can be used in direct seeding and efficient application of pesticides on various types of crops. (JKC/PIA-2/DA-FO2)