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Latest information from the National Agro-Tech Extension and Service Center of China (NATESC) showed that fall armyworm had appeared in three more provinces including Guizhou, Guangdong and Hunan after being found in Yunnan Province first and then Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region early this April. The pests are now in a stage of rapid spread.
² Guizhou Province: On 23~25 April, fall armyworm larvae were found in Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province. Specifically, 0.5 ha of crop fields in Wangmo County was infested, and the infestation in most other areas was slight.
² Guangdong Province: On 23 and 26 of this April, fall armyworm larvae were respectively found in Zengcheng District and Conghua District of Guangzhou City. In Zengcheng District, around 6.7 ha of crop lands were infested and the ratio of attacked corn plants was 8%.
² Hunan Province: It was confirmed on 26 April that fall armyworm was attacking corn fields in Chenzhou City. The ratio of damaged plants was 5.2% and the amount of larvae per 100 plants was 4.8.
Sugarcane is another crop attacked besides corn.
It’s found that fall armyworm were also attacking sugarcane (seedlings mainly) in Jinggu County of Pu'er City (occurrence area: 1,667 ha), Longchuan County of Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture (occurrence area: 13 ha), and Gengma County of Lincang City (occurrence area: 2,000 ha), all belonging to Yunnan Province. The pests can cause dead heart seedlings.
Analysis of occurrence trend
Spring corn has been sowed and growing in Southwest China, South China and south of the Changjiang River so far, which is favourable for the activity of fall armyworm. As the investigation goes deeper, fall armyworm will be found in more new areas in these regions in May. The southwest monsoon will also help the adults spread to the Changjiang River Basin and the Changjiang-Huaihe Area from mid-May. In the coming June and July, the pests will continue to move north to the Huang-Huai Area, North China and even Northeast China and Northwest China. Spreading is possible.
Key points of future work
1. Strengthen monitoring and early warning. The NATESC has established sex pheromones monitoring spots for monitoring fall armyworm in 220 counties of 26 provinces nationwide. Agricultural departments in every region should strengthen monitoring of the adults based on trapping statistics sourced from both ground-based pest forecast lamps and high-attitude pest forecast lamps in order to master the dynamics of migrating fall armyworms and publish pest occurrence forecast in a timely manner.
2. Provide scientific guidance on pest control. Agricultural departments in every region should organize the formulation of pest control solutions in order to grab the best time for control the adults and young larvae of fall armyworm, choosing deception control through physical and chemical measures as well as biological control as priorities.
Since fall armyworm is new to China and there’s hasn’t been any matching pesticide registered under the domestic pesticide administering department yet, the instruction manual from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the experience of pesticide application in overseas countries can be taken as reference. Spinetoram and bacillus subtilis can be used at the early stage of occurrence. In areas suffering from serious attacks, emamectin benzoate, chlorantraniliprole, acetamiprid and diphenyl methylphosphate can be applied to control the pests.
3. Intensify promotion and training. Agricultural departments in every region should intensify their promotion of information on fall armyworm and training to agricultural technicians and farmers to help them indentify the pests and master technique for controlling them.