UNAIR NEWS – Entering the rainy season, the population of Grayak caterpillar (S. litura) is increasing. Outbreaks of caterpillar attack corn farms belonging to farmers in Tuban and Bojonegoro. One of the affected areas is Bendonglateng Village, Kenduruan Sub-district, Tuban.
The residents of Bedonglateng Village, which are predominantly corn farmers, have to bear losses due to crop failure. To overcome this, students in 61st Community Service Program – Learning Together with the Community (KKN-BBM) Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) collaborated with Tuban’s Agriculture Counseling Center (BPP) to hold a dissemination on pest management on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at Bendonglateng Village Hall.
“Actually, this caterpillar has been attacking corn plants in the last few years, but it can still be overcome. However, lately farmers feel uneasy because the population is increasing, “said Prisca Cici Widiana as the person in charge of the dissemination activity.
The dissemination was carried out in order to provide education regarding the outbreak of Grayak caterpillars and to provide an understanding on how to prevent them early on to the farmer groups in the village. “So farmers can get answers to the problems, as this is the main profession here. If the commodity dies, it will have an impact on the economy of the village as well. Moreover, it was also conducted to change the mindset of residents who previously linked the outbreak with superstition,” said Virellia Sekar, one of the KKN members.
Grayak caterpillars eat corn leaves at a young age. Overnight, a-month-old corn plants can be eaten by the caterpillars so they cannot grow. BPP mentioned that there are several methods of controlling pest of caterpillar on corn. One of them is planting refugia and using insecticides.
“The pest control must start before the planting period,” said Jarwo from BPP Kenduruan in the dissemination activity.
After the dissemination, BPP with students and farmer groups conducted a Control Movement to the local residents’ corn fields. Extermination of plague was done by spraying insecticides provided by BPP.
The activity is expected to be beneficial for corn farmers in Bedonglateng village and have a good impact on maize plants. “Hopefully it can be useful to the residents of Bendonglateng Village, especially farmers who grow corn and this dissemination can bring good impacts on farmers,” stated Prisca. (*)
Author: Lailatul Fitriani
Editor: Feri Fenoria