Sri Lanka maize forecast lowered 17-pct after Armyworm attack

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka’s forecasted maize harvest for the main Maha cultivation season has been lowered to 200,000 metric tonnes due to an attack by Fall Armyworm.

In December, the forecast had been 240,675 metric tonnes, after taking into account 8,000 metric tonnes of damages from the fall armyworm infestation.

However, following a January assessment, the forecast had been lowered to 200,000 metric tonnes, an official said.

In the 2017/18 Maha season, the maize harvest was 274,399 metric tonnes.

Of the 70,700 hectares of maize sown in the current 2018/2019 Maha season, 40,000 hectares have been infested by the insect to varying degrees.

Farmers had managed to control the infestation to some degree with pesticides and other methods. 

Some of the crop now classified as damaged could therefore be recovered, and the final harvest could be higher than forecasted, the official said. (Colombo/Feb01/2019 – SB)

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