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Pest alert: Detection of Fall Army Worm for the first time in SA

Published: 6th Feb 2017
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Pretoria (SA) – According to a release from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) on Friday, a new agricultural pest originally from the Americas has been identified in SA.

        “DAFF today received a diagnostic report from the Agricultural Research Council, Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC PPRI) to confirm that the Fall Army Worm, Spodoptera frugiperda, was positively identified from samples collected in the Limpopo Province.  The samples were jointly collected by scientists from the ARC Grain Institute and the North West University. These were caterpillars that had to pupate and emerge as moths before a positive identification could be done.

        “Fall Army Worm (FAW) is a quarantine pest for South Africa which has a wide host range and can affect crops such as maize, sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts and potatoes. This pest is a good flyer and cannot be contained in a specific area. Damage reported in South Africa so far is mainly on yellow maize varieties and especially on sweetcorn as well as maize planted for seed production. Reports of caterpillar damage have been received mainly from the Limpopo and North West provinces.”

©2017 S&V Publications
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