Tuesday, 31 March 2020
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Fall armyworm takes hold in NQ

The invasive species of Moth larvae known as fall armyworm was detected in several locations in North Queensland.

Suspect moths were collected at South Johnstone, Tolga and Lakeland and confirmed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ to be fall armyworm.

Biosecurity Queensland Chief Biosecurity Officer Malcolm Letts said is evidence of the pest’s ability to spread quickly

“A surveillance program for fall armyworm, which commenced on the Atherton Tablelands, Innisfail, Port Douglas, Mossman, Lakeland and Cairns regions last week, will be expanded as more traps become available,” Mr Letts said.

“It is important we continue to monitor and track the spread of this pest in Queensland, so we can alert growers when they may expect to start seeing some damage to crops.”

He said it had been determined that it is not feasible to eradicate the pest from Australia.

“Managing the impacts of fall armyworm is the priority for the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“Fall armyworm causes major damage to economically important cultivated grasses such as maize, rice, sorghum, sugarcane and wheat, and also to other horticultural crops and cotton.

“They are most active during late summer and early autumn months, but may be active year-round in tropical areas.

“Growers should have on-farm biosecurity measures in place to protect their crops from pests and diseases.”