Fall Army worm identified in Umvoti

2017-02-22 06:02
Fall Army worm.

Fall Army worm.

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AN alert has been issued to farmers in Umvoti that the Fall Army worm has been positively identified in the area. Anyone growing crops is requested to be aware and to check daily crops of maize, sugar cane, kikuyu pastures, etc., especially the younger crops. Flocks of birds can also be an indication of an outbreak. .

Chemicals to counteract this pest are available and all concerned are requested to contact their chemical representative for a programme to combat the outbreak and to prevent it from spreading.

In a press statement released by the KZN Department of Agricultural and Rural Development last week, following the identification of the Army worm in KZN, the spokesperson said that the department had responded through pesticides and other chemicals before it went to neighboring farms.
“While we cannot rule out the spreading capabilities which is a function of the wind, the department is putting up ‘virus tracking’ mechanisms so that reliable data and accurate predictability about its spread trajectory can be achieved for purposes of ‘trapping" interventions’.

Since the outbreak, a team of scientists in the department in all 11 districts is monitoring the situation on a daily basis, working with farmers and communities.

The department spokesperson said: "We are calling on farmers both commercial and subsistence farmers in our rural communities. to be on the alert and work closely with our local and district offices including reporting immediately if the worm has emerged in their crops."

The presence of the Army worm in South Africa was confirmed in South Africa by the national Department of Agriculture this month.
The pest is native to South and Central America and also occurs in the southern states of America.

Infestation was first reported in Africa, in Nigeria, last year.
From there is spread to several West African countries and to Central Africa.
The department spokesperson said that the pest is a good flyer and cannot be contained in a specific area.

All crop growers are urged to be aware and to make use of the chemicals now available.

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