PEST: Fall armyworm hiding in crops

Primary producers should be vigilant of fall armyworm in the state’s north.
Fall armyworm larvae was detected in maize crops at Croppa Creek and Tulloona, and at Cudgen on the North Coast.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall  said landholders were the first line of defence against fall armyworm.
“Vigilant producers actively looking for signs of the pest help widen the reach of our trapping network, making sure we detect any new cases as soon as possible,” Mr Marshall said.
“Farmers should monitor crops, particularly sorghum and maize, regularly for signs of fall armyworm damage, egg masses and larvae.”
Fall armyworm egg mass.
Local Land Service’s Dale Kirby said early detection and spraying with selective insecticides was key to managing impacts.

It’s important to target larvae before they bury in leaf whorls and ears of maize.

Small larvae can be 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.

If you suspect fall armyworm on your property, email images with your name, location, crop type and phone number to fallarmyworm@dpi.nsw.gov.au.
Farmers should contact LLS or NSW Department of Primary Industries for further advice.
DID YOU KNOW?
Fall armyworm larvae feed on more than 350 plant species with a preference for grasses.
Key hosts include cotton, maize, rice, sorghum, sugarcane, wheat and vegetable crops like sweet corn.

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