Fall Armyworm is back

It’s Baaack – Fall armyworm detected on the North Coast

Fall armyworm has once again been found in key summer cropping regions including the North Coast. Moths have been detected at trapping locations at Bonville, Trenayr, Cudgen, South Gundurimba, Wollongbar, Tumbulgum and Goolmangar with additional positive larvae identified at Gladstone and Lower Southgate.

Early detection and spraying with selective insecticides is key to managing the impacts of this voracious pest.

Below are some top tips to help you manage Fall armyworm in your crop.

1. Know if the pest is in your area

Moth surveillance is an important first action in management because it alerts growers to the presence of local FAW activity.

2. Follow up with regular in-crop monitoring for larvae and signs of damage

If in doubt about which species of larvae is in your crop, send clear images of the head and tail to: fallarmyworm@dpi.nsw.gov.au

3. Optimise control costs by timely application of selective insecticides on above threshold populations

If sprays are warranted, act fast with full-rates of insecticide to target small larvae before they establish in whorls of plants, at which point control will be more difficult to achieve.

4. Approach control with an IPM focus and take advantage of natural enemies present in crops

Make spray decisions that will conserve beneficial insects which help suppress FAW populations in your crop. Consider biological options such as Bt and virus products as part of an IPM strategy.

5. Know which chemicals are likely to be MOST effective on FAW

Selective insecticides such spinosyns (Group 5, e.g. Entrust®, SuccessNeo®), emamectin benzoate (Group 6, e.g. Affirm®, Proclaim®) and chlorantraniliprole (Group 28, e.g. Altacor®, Coragen®) are likely to provide effective control if used correctly.

6. Know which chemicals are NOT effective on FAW

FAW has high levels of resistance to synthetic pyrethroids such as alpha-cypermethrin and growers are advised to avoid these products because they will not control of FAW and they will destroy crop beneficials.

7. Be mindful of the effect your insecticide sprays could be having on other pests in the crop

Overuse of selective insecticides will increase resistance levels in FAW and Helicoverpa armigera. Use a planned approach to insecticide selection and chemical rotation in maize and sorghum to minimise resistance risk.

8. Further information on FAW identification and treatment options is available at:

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