According to an article on agriorbit.com, current weather patterns in Southern Africa may be conducive to the outbreak of certain insect pests such as Lepidoptera. Moist air from the tropics may bring another infestation of the fall armyworm into the Limpopo, North West, Free State and Northern Cape provinces. In addition, the current conditions in these provinces and KwaZulu-Natal are conducive to the outbreak of African armyworm in veld and grazing paddocks.
Small possibility of migratory locusts
CropLife SA has been notified of massive clouds of small moths visible early evening in the northern parts of Namibia around Otjiwarongo. Sunflower growers in the North West province of South Africa have also reported a large-scale caterpillar infestation. Although the Karoo remains extremely dry in most parts, it is possible for the migratory locust to appear. However, it is unlikely at this stage.
Crop farmers should be extremely vigilant in the mentioned provinces and scout late afternoons in cash crops, fruit orchards, grazing paddocks and natural veld for swarms of small moths as the first signs of Lepidoptera pest outbreaks.
Farmers who grow non-GM maize and cotton, as well as vegetable farmers, are very vulnerable to fall armyworm and need to make a special effort to scout for the pest. Scouting can be done visually in the early evening. However, it is advisable to also use pheromone traps that are registered and available in South Africa.