CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, is leading a research project to understand and manage fall armyworm (FAW), a transboundary pest threatening crop production across South East Asia and Oceania.
The project will provide an understanding of the pest’s genetic make-up and insecticide sensitivities to see which practices are the most effective for managing FAW. This will help develop effective pest management plans.
CSIRO researcher and project leader Dr Wee Tek Tay said FAW was capable of damaging various crops, including maize, sorghum, cotton, ginger and sugarcane. “This particular species of armyworm has developed resistance to commonly used insecticides in other parts of the world, making management more difficult. It has spread rapidly since the first reported detection in Africa in 2016, across Asia and Africa and to Australia in early 2020, potentially carrying new insecticide resistance or feeding traits.”
“The resistance status of the current incursion, potential for resistance to develop over time and the ongoing migration of FAW into Australia and the region may present significant challenges to agricultural industries. The more we know about this armyworm, its genetics and its response to insecticides, the better we can plan for effective management and eradication strategies.”
The project is co-funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Cotton Research and Development Corporation, FMC Australasia and Corteva Agriscience. It involves partner organisations in Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia and Uganda.