Fall armyworm on the march


Fall armywormFarmers across the Murray region should be on the lookout for fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) after a number of positive identifications across northern NSW. The most recent discovery has been at Maitland, near Newcastle.

The moths were trapped during routine surveillance of the early warning trapping network established by Local Land Services and the NSW Department of Primary Industries in autumn 2020.

Fall armyworm larvae are known to feed on more than 350 plant species, particularly maize, cotton,  rice, sorghum, sugarcane  and wheat,  as well as vegetable and fruit crops.

While these are the first detections in NSW, populations of fall armyworm have already been established in northern Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland since first being identified in Australia in early 2020.

It is anticipated that migratory flights of the pest will occur across NSW annually and fall armyworm may establish in some of the warmer parts.

Early detection is vital to minimising the spread and impacts across the state.

If you suspect fall armyworm you must report it immediately to NSW DPI.

For more information about fall armyworm, how to identify it and how to report suspected cases, visit https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/faw and www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/plant/insect-pests-and-plant-diseases/fall-armyworm

Related information