Battling the autumn armyworm | Entry Agriculture

Must read

Within the 1500s, when males on crusing ships have been casually spreading crop vegetation from one continent to the following, maize got here to Africa. Luckily, most of the maize pests stayed behind, within the Americas. However slowly, commerce and journey are re-uniting maize with its pests. A caterpillar referred to as the autumn armyworm is the newest American pest to achieve Africa, and it has unfold throughout the continent, threatening one among Africa’s staple meals crops.

Simply as maize initially got here to Africa with out its American pests, the autumn armyworm arrived with out its pure enemies, together with a few dozen species of tiny parasitic wasps. This has helped the armyworm to unfold quicker.

Governments panicked over the arrival of the autumn armyworm. Some tried huge campaigns to eradicate it manually, as in Rwanda, the place massive groups of individuals destroyed the caterpillars by hand. Others started widespread campaigns to spray farmers’ fields with insecticide. Luckily, there are options to pesticides, as defined in two Entry Agriculture movies.

The movies clarify that fall armyworm injury typically seems worse than it truly is. The caterpillars eat gaping holes within the maize leaves and defecate what seems like moist sawdust all around the vegetation. However the vegetation normally get well and produce a full ear, despite early injury to the younger plant.

Conveniently for farmers, the autumn armyworm can also be a cannibal. Every one lives alone within the maize whorl and eats any smaller armyworm that is available in. So, a maize plant hardly ever has to undergo multiple armyworm at a time.

Though the armyworm left its specialised pure enemies behind, as soon as it arrived in Africa it met with generalist, native predators like ants, earwigs, ladybird beetles and different useful bugs that quickly started to assault and eat the caterpillars.

The FAO (the UN’s Meals and Agricultural Group) organised farmer subject colleges to show farmers armyworm ecology and management. Farmers who took these colleges have been quickly utilizing methods from Latin America, resembling making use of soil to the maize whorls. However farmers in Kenya additionally created improvements of their very own, resembling rubbing cooking grease onto the maize plant to draw ants to kill armyworms, and sprinkling high-quality sand combined with tobacco snuff into the maize whorls.

Farmer subject colleges are a wonderful technique to train insect ecology, however subject colleges solely attain a small proportion of the farmers who want the brand new data. Luckily, the farmers who haven’t been capable of take subject colleges will be capable to study from those that have, by watching the autumn armyworm movies, which can be found without spending a dime in a number of languages on Entry Agriculture platform. Extra translations will assist to unfold the phrase about non-chemical management of fall armyworm.

Associated Entry Agriculture movies

Scouting for fall armyworms

Killing fall armyworms naturally


The movies on fall armyworm are developed in collaboration with the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (FAO) with funding from the McKnight Basis’s Collaborative Crop Analysis Program (CCRP).

Photographs by Eric Boa.

The scientific title of the autumn armyworm is Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

© Copyright Agro-Perception


- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article