Thursday, 16 September 2021
PRODUCERS in across the region are on the lookout for fall armyworm following detection of the pest in a maize crop at Croppa Creek, Agriculture Minister and Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall announced today.
Mr Marshall said four moths trapped on 7 September were this week confirmed as fall armyworm.
“The pheromone trap surveillance system deployed by NSW DPI and Local Land Services (LLS) and in-crop inspections by growers and advisers are the first actions of an effective pest management plan,” Mr Marshall said.
“Regular monitoring, particularly in maize and sorghum crops is critical. Growers and advisers should look for early signs of crop damage, such as windowing and shot holes in leaves.”
Mr Marshall said landholders were the first line of defence against fall armyworm.
“Vigilant landholders who are actively looking for signs of fall armyworm are helping to widen the reach of our trapping network, making sure we detect any new cases as soon as possible,” he said.
Small larvae are difficult to identify and growers are encouraged to keep suspect larvae on host crop leaves until they can be more easily identified by clear photographs of the head and tail sections.
Mr Marshall said images could be emailed with your name, location, crop type and phone number to email@example.com
“Regular monitoring is critical in optimising control costs,” Mr Marshall said.
“Early detection and spraying fall armyworm with selective insecticides when they reach threshold levels will deliver the best results.
“It’s important to target larvae before they bury themselves in leaf whorls and ears of maize.
“Fall armyworm has developed very high resistance to synthetic pyrethroids and growers are strongly advised to avoid these chemicals as they are ineffective in controlling the pest and destroy beneficial insect populations.
“The use of selective insecticide options can help conserve beneficial insects and help suppress fall armyworm as part of an integrated pest management strategy.”
Information on economic thresholds for fall armyworm populations is available online www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Fall-Armworm-Continuity-Plan-2.pdf
More information on identification, control options and resistance management is available on NSW DPI www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/plant/insect-pests-and-plant-diseases/fall-armyworm and LLS websites.
Farmers should contact LLS for advice on fall armyworm management.