Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda is an insect native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. It was first detected in Central and Western Africa in early 2016 and has now spread across Sub-Saharan Africa and recently reached Yemen and India.
In the larval stage, the insect causes damage to crops, feeding on more than 80 plant species. FAW primarily affects maize, but also rice and sorghum as well as cotton and some vegetables. The moth can fly up to 100 km per night and the female moth can lay up to a total of 1000 eggs in her lifetime
Here are 10 Integrated management strategies to control Fall Armyworm as released by Tamil Nadu Agriculture University
1. Summer ploughing exposes the pupae in soil to direct sunlight and predators. This controls the population of Successive generations .
2. Neem cake at the rate of 100 kg/ha is to be applied to the soil at the time of last ploughing. This prevents emergence of moth from pupae
3. Bio control agents like Beauveria bassiana or Metarhizium anisopliae is to be used at the rate of 5g/litre after 10-15 days of sowing. Pesticides like Thiamethoxam at the rate of 0.4 ml/litre of water could be applied during mid whorl to late whorl stage.
4. Adequate spacing prevents intra plant transfer of pests. Hence the spacing of 60*25 cm and 45*25 cm is to be maintained under Irrigated and Dryland conditions respectively.
5. Wide Gap of 60 cm is to be maintained after every 10 rows of Crop. It enables spraying of pesticides easier .
6. Sunflower, Cowpea, Sesamum are trap crops for Fall army worm. Hence they must be raised as Bund crop all around the field.
7. Use of Pheromone traps like Spodolure at the rate of 20/ha attracts adult moths and thus reduces it’s fecundity
8. Azardiractin at the rate of 1% or Thiodecarb at the rate of 400 g/200l spray/acre or Emamectin benzoate at the rate of 80g/200l spray /acre should be sprayed 15-20 DAS
9. Also Spinetoram @ 0.5 ml/litre of water OR Chlorantraniliprole @ 0.4 ml/litre of water should be sprayed 40-45 days after sowing.
10. All the sprays should be directed towards whorl and either in the early hours of the day or in the evening time.