Fall armyworm GRDC webinar to outline insights into its threat

Having gained a foothold in many parts of the country, the fall armyworm poses a significant threat to maize and sorghum crops

The Fall armyworm (FAW) that can quickly damage maize and sorghum has now gained a foothold in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, and has also been detected in Dubbo NSW – photo University of Florida

Grain growers battling to understand the potential impact of fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) and how to manage this foreign invader can tune into a specialised GRDC webinar on Thursday 12 November.

The webinar will look at the threat posed by this pest and explain its management. It is part of a broader series of free GRDC updates developed for Central Queensland growers, agronomists and researchers.

GRDC Grower Relations Manager – North, Richard Holzknecht, said the information being delivered in the FAW webinar would also be of interest to growers, agronomists and farm advisers across Australia.

“The webinar will feature North Queensland agronomist Brent Wilson sharing his experiences with FAW at a farm level, and while that has regional context, growers everywhere are interested in how this new pest is being managed and what impact it’s having,” Mr Holzknecht said.

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) senior entomologist Melina Miles will also present information on the threat FAW poses to the grains industry and the tools available for management.

“The GRDC appreciates and understands the concerns industry has about FAW and how it is going to impact at a farm level,” Mr Holzknecht said.

“In partnership with cesar and CSIRO, the GRDC is currently investing in research to investigate FAW’s biology, spread and establishment potential, as well as options to manage the pest now and into the future.”

He said the GRDC was also involved in developing a FAW continuity plan for the Australian grain industry.

This plan will include assessments such as pest biology, seasonality, dispersal capacity (including potential non-crop plant host range), potential plant industry impacts, management options, diagnostics and surveillance protocols.

FAW was first detected in Australia in February 2020 and is now considered established in parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Last month FAW was also detected as far south as Dubbo in central western New South Wales.

Although grasses including maize and sorghum are favoured by FAW, the pest is known to feed on many hosts and has reportedly caused economic damage overseas to rice, pearl millet, cotton, turf and fodder crops.

To register for the free-of-charge FAW webinar at 9am (AEST) on Thursday 12 November 2020 click here.

For up-to-date information about identifying and managing FAW, go to the FAW resource page on the GRDC website.

For more information  go to the GRDC events page or contact Erica McKay on 02 9482 4930 or erica@icanrural.com.au.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print

Related stories