03 May 2022, NZ: Last month, Biosecurity New Zealand confirmed that a single fall armyworm egg mass has been found in Tauranga.
Process Vegetables New Zealand, Vegetables New Zealand, Onions New Zealand and other industry groups are closely engaged in the fall armyworm response, alongside other GIA partners Seed and Grain Readiness and Response, and the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Further information will be provided on options for addressing fall armyworm, but in the meantime the focus is on identifying the spread, reporting any possible finds, and dealing with any confirmed populations.
Managing the plant pest fall armyworm
Biosecurity New Zealand and primary sector partners are continuing to respond to the discovery of the fall armyworm and want to thank all farmers and growers for keeping an eye out and reporting signs of this moth pest.
While the fall armyworm thrives in very warm climates and it is unlikely to survive winter in most areas of New Zealand. Growers are encouraged to continue to look for signs of it, particularly on volunteer maize and corn plants. Information about this pest and what to look for can be found here.
It can easily be mistaken for other species so if you suspect fall armyworm, take a photo (caterpillars at least 2cm long) and call Biosecurity New Zealand’s Pest and Disease Hotline (0800 80 99 66) or report online at report.mpi.govt.nz/pest. Alternatively, you can report via the Find-a-Pest app.
There has been a great response so far from those asked to check their crops, with more than 75 calls to Biosecurity New Zealand’s pests and diseases hotline. Thank you to those farmers and growers who are playing their part in this.