SHANGHAI, Feb 7 (Reuters) -
* The fall armyworm has hit at least 2,561 mu (170.7 hectares) of wheat crops in Sichuan province in southwestern China since December last year, China’s official news agency Xinhua said on Friday, citing the Sichuan Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
* The armyworm could hit 8 million mu (533,000 hectares) of farmland in Sichuan without effective control, partly due to the large base of the pest.
* The destructive pest, which first arrived in China in January 2019, has hit over a million hectares of farmland in China last year, mainly damaging corn and sugarcane crops, according to the National Agriculture Technology Extension Service Center(NATESC), an institute under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
* NATESC had warned in December that the armyworm is expected to hit more crops across wider areas in 2020, including the key corn-growing region in the northeast. (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Emily Chow; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)