'Fall Armyworm' Agri Pest Infestation on the Maize Crop

With growing incidents of 'Fall Armyworm' pest infestation on the maize  crop, the government has issued an advisory to state governments asking them to closely survey the fields and submit a detailed report.

The Fall Armyworm, a feared agricultural pest that was noticed in Karnataka for the first time in the country, has now been reported in neighbouring Telangana. The Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is considered deadly as it has caused massive agricultural losses in several countries in Africa. The worm has been noticed at a few places in the districts of Karimnagar, Kamareddy, Sangareddy, Medak and Gadwal in Telangana, state Principal Secretary (Agriculture) C Parthasarathi said."It (Fall Armyworm) has been noticed at some places in these districts. The samples have been sent to Bangalore (for examination)," he added. The pest has so far been found only on maize crop in the state, he said.

The worm was first noticed in Karnataka and has later spread to Tamil Nadu and Telangana. The pest has so far been found only on maize crop.

"There are reports of infestation in Karnataka It is spreading to other states. The agriculture ministry has issued an advisory asking the states to conduct survey of the affected fields and

submit a report," Indian Council of Agricultural Research, DG, T. Mohapatra informed.

The matter will be discussed with state governments, domestic and international research bodies to find out the technological solution and management practices to control the spread of the invasive agricultural pest, he said.

"This pest has been there for a decade in the US. This is not a new pest. It can be controlled," he added. The Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is considered deadly as it has caused massive agricultural losses in several countries in Africa.

The pest attack on maize crop is at a preliminary stage now and teams have been sent on a survey to ascertain if the worm is present anywhere else, he said. The senior official said that information on the Fall Armyworm, including on the pesticides to be used, has been circulated in the agriculture department and also agriculture scientists in the state. The worm was first found in Karnataka in the country and later spread to Tamil Nadu.

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