High presence of fall armyworm moths in the Western Cape

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) called on Western Cape farmers to conduct regular checks of their lands after “high numbers” of fall armyworm (FAW) moths were detected in the province.

High presence of fall armyworm moths in the Western Cape
High numbers of fall armyworm moths have been detected in the Clanvilliam area in the Western Cape.
Photo: Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility
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The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) called on Western Cape farmers to conduct regular checks of their lands after “high numbers” of fall armyworm (FAW) moths were detected in the province.

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According to a statement issued by DAFF, fall armyworm larvae had been positively identified on sweetcorn on a farm near Clanwillian, and the presence of high numbers of FAW moths had been confirmed in this area.

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“This is not the first time that the pest occurred in the province, it was already sporadically observed last year. However, the concern is the high number of moths currently observed in the province,” said Roedolf Nieuwenhuis, manager of Crop Watch Africa.

“Fall armyworm migrates during autumn and since it is currently autumn in South Africa, it could be one of the main reasons why the pest has spread to the province,” Nieuwenhuis said.

He added that weather conditions, especially high wind, could also play a significant role in the spread of FAW.

Nieuwenhuis cautioned farmers to be alert of what was happening and to check any pheromone traps regularly. They should immediately report any detection of FAW to the relevant authorities, he said.

Jeandré Du Preez is the newest addition to the Farmer’s Weekly team. Originating from a Riversdal farming family, she has farming in her blood. After school she furthered her studies at Stellenbosch and has been working as an agricultural journalist for the past two years. She says she feels privileged to write about an industry paramount to the survival of all South Africans and is inspired by the innovative solutions with which the farming community bridges the many challenges they face. She enjoys being able to combine work with travel and appreciates the modesty and friendliness with which South Africa’s farmers share their accomplishments. She enjoys being able to combine work with travel and appreciates the modesty and friendliness with which South Africa’s farmers share their accomplishments. If she is not writing or visiting farms, you’ll find her relaxing with a good mystery novel or exploring her other passions: travelling and cooking.