Guidelines for controlling fall armyworm

According to a statement by CropLife SA, farmers affected by FAW should spray insecticides as soon as the pest is noticed, or if 5% to 10% of plants show infestation (five to 10 plants per 100 plants inspected).

Only products containing the active ingredients already approved for fall armyworm by the registrar of the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act No36 of 1947 should be used.

According to the latest CropLife SA protocols, insecticides must be applied during the early development stages of larvae. Adult larvae may prove to be very difficult, if not impossible to control.

The best time for application is when larvae feed on exposed leaf surfaces where insecticides can reach them outside cobs, ears and tassels.  As soon as larvae penetrate too deeply into the whorl or feed inside the cob, it becomes virtually impossible to effectively control the pest.

In addition, smaller larvae are easier to control than fully-grown larvae.

Dr Gerhard Verdoorn, director of CropLife SA, said insecticides should be applied strictly according to the recommendations on the label. Control varies from very poor to adequate with the use of carbamates and organophosphates.

It is, however, advisable to test any carbamates and organophosphates on a small patch for efficacy before using it on a large scale. Certain strains of Bacillus thuringiensis may not be effective against FAW and it is therefore vital to test products before using it extensively, he said.

In the statement, CropLife SA advised producers to calibrate sprayers and ensure that sprayers and nozzles were in good working condition, and delivered the correct droplet size and spray volume.

Nozzles need to be aimed at plant rows and not between rows to ensure that the target is reached with the maximum spray volume. Optimal spray volumes are recommended. On average, between 200 and 400 litres/ha for maize crops should be adequate to deposit active ingredients on the target.

Water pH and adjuvants also have to be adjusted according with the recommendations on the label, the statement said. – Annelie Coleman

Insecticides that can be used to control FAW


Active ingredient(s) Trade name  Reg Nr. Status Reg Holder
Indoxacarb Steward 150 EC L8453 Registered DuPont de Nemours
Indoxacarb Advance 150 SC L9147 Registered Universal Crop Protection
­­­Indoxacarb Addition 150 SC L9146 Registered Villa Crop Protection
Indoxacarb Doxstar Flo L9884 Registered Meridian Agrochem. Company
Chlorantraniliprole Coragen L8592 Registered DuPont de Nemours
Chlorantraniliprole/Lambda-cyhalothrin Ampligo L8685 Registered Syngenta
Emamectin benzoate Emma L9022 Registered Arysta LifeScience
Emamectin benzoate Proclaim L7581 Registered Syngenta
Emamectin benzoate Vitex 50 L9525 Applied for Meridian Agrochem, Company
Emamectin benzoate Promex 20 EW L9729 Applied for Meridian Agrochem. Company
Emamectin benzoate Warlock 19.2 EC L9872 Applied for Amada South Africa
Flubendiamide Belt L8860 Registered Bayer
Methomyl Spitfire L8197 Registered Bitrad Consulting
Methomyl FarmAg Methomyl 900 L3430 Applied for Castle Ag-Chem
Methomyl Mylomex 200 SL L4367 Applied for Nulandis
Profenophos FarmAg Profenofos 500 L5547 Applied for Castle Ag-Chem
Lufenuron Sorba L5343 Registered Syngenta
Lufenuron Lepidex L7977 Applied for Meridian Agrochem. Company
Spinetoram Delegate 250 WG L8239 Applied for Dow AgroSciences
Spinetoram/Methoxyfenozide Uphold 360 SC L10164 Applied for Dow AgroSciences
Benfuracarb/Fenvalerate Oncol Super 220 SC L7649 Applied for Dow AgroSciences
Chlorpyrifos Avi Klorpirifos 480 EC L4318 Registered Avima
Mercaptothion Avi Merkaptotion DP L5966 Applied for Avima
Mercaptothion Avi Gard L0216 Applied for Avima
Azadirachtin Neemazal L7840 Applied for Klub M5
Bacillus thuringiensis var azawai Florbac WG L5531 Applied for Philagro
Novaluron/Indoxacarb Plemax L10246 Registered Adama South Africa