Farm Management

Fall armyworm webinar offers insights from the paddock

Photo: Lyle Buss, 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 Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) webinar next week.

The fall armyworm (FAW) webinar on Thursday, November 12 2020, is part of a broader series of free GRDC Grains Research 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. 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, November 12 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.

Source: GRDC

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