4 April, 2024

Fall armyworm sighting at Westbrook

Forage oat growers should be vigilant for the troublesome pest fall armyworm (FAW) as several infestations have been spotted on the Darling Downs.

Fall armyworm causing substantial damage in oats. Photo, Trevor Volp
Fall armyworm causing substantial damage in oats. Photo, Trevor Volp

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) scientist Trevor Volp told On Our Selection News QDAF entomologists have recently inspected several infestations of fall armyworm (FAW) in forage oats at multiple farms at Westbrook as well as Southbrook and Pittsworth.

In an article for The BeatSheet, the pest management guide for Australia’s Northern Grain region, Mr Volp said oats are not a preferred host of FAW, but these infestations come at the end of the largest FAW season since the pest arrived in Australia.

“Oats are not usually inspected for pest insects, but agronomists are advised to check plants for FAW as they emerge and establish this autumn,” Mr Volp said.

“It would also be prudent to inspect other early-sown winter cereals (wheat, barley), as the current infestations have demonstrated that FAW can not only cause substantial defoliation in oats but can severely decrease plant populations by killing small plants.

“Some paddocks have been significantly impacted by FAW feeding.”

To best identify FAW, visit The Beatsheet.


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