Army Worm wreaking havoc

March 09, 2017 at 13:42 p.m

MEC Vusi Shongwe has called on farmers to report any suspected cases of the Fall Army Worm, which has since been identified on maize in several parts of the province. This after it was positively identified in Limpopo and North West.

The first detection of Fall Army Worm in Africa was notified in January 2016 when it was reported from Nigeria. Media reports from Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi indicated an outbreak of this pest during December 2016. The Worm is a strong flyer and could be distributed by prevailing winds over large distances. It can attack several plant types like maize, sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts and potatoes. "It is therefore important that these crops be scouted for damage and possible sightings of the worm.

That is why we call upon all farmers throughout the province to report these cases and where exactly they are. They should be reported with immediate effect. Sadly no official registered pesticide is available to use against this pest, but efforts are currently underway”, said MEC Shongwe, during a media briefing in Mbombela on 10 February 2017. The current suspect cases in Mpumalanga are on maize.