Mild African Armyworm (Spodoptera exempta, Walker) outbreaks were reported Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Control was effected by the affected farmers with technical and material assistance from the Ministries of Agriculture. Outbreaks of Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda, J E Smith) a new pest in the region were reported in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and recently Tanzania. The pest was causing mild to severe damage to young maize. Control of the pest was being undertaken by the affected farmers with material (pesticides, sprayers) and technical assistance from Ministry of Agriculture. The incidences of the outbreak had tailed off by the end of February as result of control operations and the maize developing beyond the vulnerable stage.
AFRICAN ARMYWORM (Spodoptera exempta Walker)
Mild African Armyworm outbreaks were reported in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Mild African Armyworm outbreaks were reported in Matebeleland North Province. The caterpillars were mainly reported attacking grass pasture. Control operations progress at the time of compiling this report.
Mild African Armyworm outbreak affecting a small area was reported in Shire Valley Agriculture Development Division. Control was carried out by affected farmers using Cypermethrin.
Outbreak of the pest was reported in Manica, Sofala and Tete Provinces. The pest was reported damaging maize, rice and grass pasture. Affected farmers carried control with material and technical assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mild outbreaks of African Armyworm were reported and located in Iku Katavi, Morogoro, Lindi Regions. The pest was controlled by the affecting farmers with material (pesticides) and technical assistance from Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
Kenya and Zambia:
There were no reports of Armyworm outbreaks received from these member countries during the month.
FALL ARMYWORM (Spodoptera frugiperda, J E Smith)
Outbreaks of Fall Armyworm, a relatively new pest in the IRLCO-CSA region is a native of the Americas. It was first reported in mid-December 2016 and continued to be reported in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. However, the incidences of the pest had tailed off by the end of January 2017 as a result of intensive control operations undertaken by farmers in the affected countries with material (pesticides, sprayers) and technical assistance from governments of the affected countries e.g. the Government of Zambia by end of January 2017 had issued over 106 100 lts of various pesticides to the affected farmers, while in Malawi and Zimbabwe, the governments had issued over 3 000 lts of Cypermethrin and 2 500 kgs of Carbaryl respectively.
The pest has this week been reported to have been sighted in Rukwa area in Tanzania. Countries including Botswana, Namibia and South Africa have reported its presence.
OUTLOOK (Mar – May 2017):
Armyworm outbreaks are likely to occur in Kenya and Tanzania, while isolated outbreaks of the pest might continue to occur in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This forecast is issued by the International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern Africa, with thanks to The Director at IRLCO-CSA and contributions by staff of Plant Protection units in its Member Countries. The forecast is summarised here by the Armyworm Network (@spodoptera007) hosted by Lancaster University. Learn more about IRLCO-CSA