Fall armyworm identified in South African crops

The armyworm. (iStock)
The armyworm. (iStock)

Cape Town – The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Friday confirmed that fall armyworm was identified in samples collected in Limpopo.

The fall armyworm is known to affect several crops including maize, sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts and potatoes. This pest has a wide host range and cannot be contained to a specific area as it is a good flyer.

According to the department, the South African Emergency Plant Pest Response Plan, which deals with new pest detections in the country, is already in place.

The department said the fall armyworm is a new pest to South Africa which means that no pesticide has been registered to be used against it.

"Chemical suppliers are encouraged to apply for emergency registration of agricultural chemicals to be used on maize and other host plants," it said.

The department promised to approve various pest control products from next week.

It should be noted that certain products that have been identified to control the pest are already available in the market, and as such farmers should be able to access them, the DAF said.

Mainly yellow maize varieties and sweet corn have been damaged by the fall armyworm in Limpopo and the North West.

The department said it will continue to assess the spread of the pest and damage it has caused.

"[We will] provide farmers with accurate technical information and control option," the department said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 957 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1799 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 9918 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.12
(+0.36)
ZAR/GBP
20.24
(+0.23)
ZAR/EUR
18.02
(+0.24)
ZAR/AUD
11.14
(+0.40)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.35)
Gold
1806.39
(-0.14)
Silver
23.32
(+0.29)
Platinum
965.00
(+0.83)
Brent Crude
47.84
(+3.78)
Palladium
2323.00
(-0.13)
All Share
57742.19
(-0.03)
Top 40
52940.79
(-0.20)
Financial 15
11641.10
(-0.29)
Industrial 25
79835.50
(-0.36)
Resource 10
52605.42
(+0.07)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo