Unseasonal rains during the past week have created favourable conditions for plant eating pests to flourish in northern central provinces, causing severe and wide-scale damage to crops, especially rubber trees and pepper plants.
The Plant Protection Centre in Phu loc District in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, reported that 100 per cent of the rubber trees in the area were affected and covered with a powdery fungus which caused trees to lose their foliage and reduce rubber extract by 10-20 per cent.
Almost 3-5 per cent of the rubber trees in Nam Dong, Phong Dien and Huong Tra Districts of the province were infected with the bark burst disease, which is said to even destroy the trees.
Meanwhile, large areas of pepper plants in Gio Linh, Huong Hoa and Cam Lo Districts are being affected by an unknown disease. Nguyen Van Thanh, a farmer from Gio Son Commune in Gio Linh District, said that 50 of his pepper plants were growing healthy but suddenly their leaves began to turn yellow, their vines withered and they soon died. Local farmers used powdered lime to treat their plants but this did not prevent their plants from dying.