Production

Preparing Australia to manage fall armyworm

Beef Central, July 20, 2020
The Australian Government has provided a grant of $600,000 to Plant Health Australia (PHA) to coordinate research to address gaps in management of fall armyworm.

The serious pest, fall armyworm, has been found across northern Australia since January 2020 and is not eradicable.

Funding will support a government and industry workshop to develop a national management plan.

It will also deliver a national research and development program and projects to better manage this significant biosecurity pest

Given its distribution and ability to rapid spread, it has been determined through the national emergency response arrangements to be not feasible to eradicate.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the funding would enable PHA to fund a number of projects over two years to boost national research and development to better manage the impacts of this pest.

“Biosecurity threats such as fall armyworm are very real, they threaten our industries and our way of life,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Fall armyworm is a serious agricultural pest. The larval or caterpillar stage of the moth’s lifecycle, can damage and destroy a wide variety of crops causing in some cases if not controlled large economic loss.

“It also has the potential to impact on our native and garden plants, so it can be a serious problem in our parks and backyard gardens too.

“The funding provided to PHA will support a range of valuable activities that will help manage the damaging impact of fall armyworm to protect our plant health.

“The funding will initially support PHA to coordinate a workshop that will bring local and international experts, research organisations, governments and industries together to identify gaps in fall armyworm knowledge of national interest.

“The outcomes from workshop will inform the development of a national management plan and guide investment in projects for monitoring and ongoing management of fall armyworm.

“This includes a series of projects that will investigate fall armyworm genetics, pesticide resistance, commercial and native hosts, and modelling of seasonal impacts on population dynamics.

“Through this funding and its deliverables, we are supporting industry to minimise the impact of fall armyworm in Australia.”

For more information on fall armyworm visit www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/plant/exotic-armyworm

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