READ launches programme to fight Fall Armyworm
Mogwase/ Magong – The Department of Rural, Environmental and Agricultural Development (READ) launched a control programme to eliminate the armyworm in the Moses Kotane Local Municipality area on Saturday, 25 February 2017.
The Fall Armyworm originates from the tropical regions of the United States, Argentina and the Caribbean.
During December 2016, the first unconfirmed reports of armyworm damage to maize were received from Zambia and Zimbabwe. In January 2017, the South African National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) received reports of an unknown armyworm damaging maize plants on farms in the Limpopo. The worm was also noticed recently in the North West Province. The main host plants attacked by the fall armyworm are: maize, sorghum, sugarcane and cotton.
Presenting the overview, Mpho Sekgala of the Department of the DAFF said that the department issued a preliminary interim guide for the use of agricultural chemicals to control infestations of the fall armyworm in South Africa. Farmers are advised to apply the approved insecticides at application dosage and rates recommended on the product label. “Chemical control is most effective if applied as soon as the worms have emerged (1-5mm long), as the larva is more susceptible to poisons than the older worm,” Sekgala said.
The Fall Armyworm is also active in some parts of the North West province, in particular the Moses Kotane and Madibeng Local Municipalities.
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