African armyworm in the press
Africa: Migratory Pests Threaten Food Security
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AFRICA: Member states of the International Red Locust Control Organisation for Central and Southern Africa (IRLCO-CSA) are on high alert for the build-up of migratory pests [armyworms and locusts]as the current weather system increases the prevalence of insects. Visiting IRLCO-CSA director, Mr Moses Okhoba, yesterday said migratory pests were of economic importance as they affected the whole region, greatly threatening food security. The pests can wipe out vast swathes of crops and pastures within a short space of time. Mr Okhoba said the 2015-16 rainfall season characterised with intermittent rainfall could allow the build-up of armyworm and locusts. "Migratory pests are a big danger to the economy if not managed well. Because of climate change, the region has seen an upsurge of pests", he said.
Wed 16 December 2015
Ghana: Armyworms destroy farms in Mampong, Nkoranza
GHANA: There is an armyworm invasion in the Mampong municipality in the Ashanti Region and Nkoranza in the Brong Ahafo Region. The worms are fast destroying large acres of maize farms and this could pose a challenge to food security in the country if not dealt with immediately. Farmers, whose farms have been invaded by the armyworms, have, accordingly, appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to help contain the situation.
Mon 19 October 2015
Ten animal outbreaks that look like biblical plagues
BBC Earth: From locust swarms 110 miles long to armies of caterpillars (African armyworms) these plagues are what happens when a species runs rampant.
Fri 11 September 2015
END OF 2014-15 AFRICAN ARMYWORM SEASON
During the dry season (May-October) there are unlikely to be any armyworm outbreaks reported.
Fri 01 May 2015
Zimbabwe: Govt Reacts to Armyworm Outbreak
ZIMBABWE: Government has started distributing chemicals to spray armyworms countrywide as efforts to control the pest intensify, an official said yesterday. In an interview, Plant Protection Research Services Institute deputy director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere said they had already started distributing chemicals in all the country's provinces. "We have started distributing chemicals countrywide and we have enough chemicals in stock. Government has assisted us with about $45 000 to buy chemicals and protective clothing," he said "We have Deltamethrin and Cypermethrin used to control armyworms in pasture grasses because they are less toxic to livestock. We also have Karate and Carbaryl to spray in maize and other crops because they have a long residual effect."
Thu 01 January 2015
Zimbabwe: Armyworm Outbreak in Mbire, Muzarabani Districts
ZIMBABWE: AN armyworm outbreak has been reported in Mbire and Muzarabani, Mashonaland Central Province, where the pest is reported to have destroyed at least 26 hectares of sorghum and pastures. The pest rapidly breeds in wet conditions. In an interview yesterday, Plant Protection Research Institute Deputy director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere, said the first armyworm outbreak this year was reported on December 23 in Mbire. "We recorded the first armyworm outbreak on December 23 in Mbire District where about 22 hectares of pastures and sorghum were destroyed," he said.
Tue 30 December 2014
Zimbabwe: Agronomists meet to fight armyworm
ZIMBABWE: Regional crop specialists have agreed to collaborate in the fight to eradicate armyworm which normally destroys cereal crops between December and March each year. The calls to strengthen ties among SADC member states was made at a Capacity Development for Community-based Armyworm Forecasting on Southern Africa workshop held in Harare yesterday. Crop specialists from Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe attended the workshop which was organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Winfred Hammond, a senior entomologist with FAO, told delegates that armyworm and other transboundary pests could have a devastating effect on the region’s food security if left unchecked. “It is important the region develops an early warning system against threats, facilitate and organise joint technical assistance on armyworm in the region,” Hammond said.
Fri 03 October 2014
END OF 2013-14 AFRICAN ARMYWORM SEASON
During the dry season (May-October) there are unlikely to be any armyworm outbreaks reported.
Thu 01 May 2014
Tanzania: Govt supplies pesticide to combat armyworms
Tanzania: Amid infestation of armyworms destroying food and cash crops in the Northern Zone, the government has distributed 1,507 litres of a pesticide, Deltamethrin 25EC, to hold back the pests' spread. In an interview with 'Daily News', Assistant Director of Plant Health Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Cornelius Nkondo, said the government will disburse an additional 500 litres of the pesticide to three regions of Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro.
Wed 16 April 2014
TANZANIA: Take Armyworm Warning Seriously
TANZANIA: An alert has been issued of the imminent invasion of the dreaded African armyworm. Preliminary reports say nine regions in the country are threatened with attack by the voracious pest. According to a spokesman of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives Richard Kasuga, so far the armyworms have been spotted in Mtwara, Lindi, Mbeya, Morogoro, Dodoma, Tanga, Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Coast regions. Several of the mentioned regions are also among those currently facing some level of deficit in food stocks and need every kilo to improve the situation. Source: The Guardian.
Thu 27 March 2014
Zimbabwe: Armyworm Wreaks Havoc in Manicaland
ZIMBABWE: AT least 15 hectares of rapoko and sorghum have been destroyed by armyworms across the country, a senior official has said. In an interview, Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI) head Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere said the worm predominantly affected crops in Nyamaropa, Chimanimani, Birchenough Bridge and Masvingo. "The problem was attributed to the dry spell that the country was experiencing over the past two weeks creating conditions that promoted the reproduction of the armyworms.
Sat 15 March 2014
SOUTH AFRICA: Armyworm outbreak alert
Farmers are advised to inspect their lands for armyworm infestations after an outbreak was reported in the Klipdrif area of the Potchefstroom district.
Marthinus Beytell farms some 20km from Potchefstroom and has lost about 50% of a 70ha camp of natural grazing virtually overnight.
"Three or four days ago the veld looked fantastic, but so far we've lost the bulk of grazing. Our neighbours also reported serious infestations", he said.
Tue 25 February 2014
Southern Africa: Crop-eating pests plague southern African farmers
Southern Africa: The rainy season, always welcome in often dry southern Africa, has brought with it favourable breeding conditions for army worms and red locusts. The crop-eating pests are contributing to the woes of subsistence farmers already struggling to recover from setbacks in the last farming cycle.
In Zimbabwe, where the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that 2.2 million people now require food assistance, more than 800 hectares of cereal grain crops and 300 hectares of pasture have been destroyed by outbreaks of army worms.
Fri 07 February 2014
Zimbabwe: Armyworm outbreak hits Manicaland
ZIMBABWE: An armyworm scare has hit parts of Manicaland, with a sizeable hectarage of the staple maize crop and green pastures suffering severe attacks from the devastating caterpillars.
Fri 31 January 2014
Zimbabwe: Rains Control Armyworm Outbreak
ZIMBABWE: The current heavy rains have helped reduce army worm damage to crops and pastures, the Plant Protection Research Institute has said. Head of the PPRI Dr Godfrey Chikwenhere said the recent army worm attacks in Mashonaland Central and Midlands did not have severe effects as the infestation was washed away by the rains.
Fri 10 January 2014
AUSTRALIA: Tasmanian farmers warned of (southern) armyworm threat - UPDATE
UPDATE: Reported outbreak of armyworm in Tanzania or not African armyworms but Southern armyworms (Persectania ewingii) - thanks to Lionel Hill, Catherine Byrne and others for clarifying this.
Australia: Tasmanian farmers are being warned to watch for a hungry bug that poses a threat to their crops.
The Primary Industries Department says armyworm caterpillars were spotted in barley and grass in the state's north-west around Christmas.
Thu 09 January 2014
BOTSWANA on High Alert for African Armyworm Outbreak: Official
BOTSWANA: Agricultural officials in Botswana has been placed on high alert to deal with a suspected armyworm outbreak across the country, the spokesperson of the country's Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday.
Geoffrey Pheko, the spokesperson in the ministry, said in a telephone interview with Xinhua that teams has been dispatched to monitor the situation and search for clues of the armyworm invasion throughout the country to ensure early detection. "Suspicion has been raised by farmers in the southern part of the country. Moth, suspected to be armyworm, was detected in Mmathethe area near Lobatse (a city in the southern part near the border with the neighboring South Africa)," said Pheko.
Last year, armyworm invaded most parts of Botswana and the better part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The invasion by armyworm caused extensive damage to crops in Botswana together with this diamond rich nation's neighbors such as Zambia, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Sat 28 December 2013
ZIMBABWE: Armyworm Control
ZIMBABWE: The Department of Plant Protection Research Institute has started distributing chemicals for armyworm control ahead of the summer cropping season. The department has teams that are monitoring the pest in different areas for forecasting [armyworm outbreaks].
Thu 17 October 2013
*** ARMYWORM SEASON 2012-2013 CLOSES ***
SYNOPSIS: The 2012-13 African armyworm season witnessed extensive outbreaks throughout southern Africa, with major outbreaks reported between December 2012 and June 2013 in at least 9 countries, including (in chronological order): Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho and Ethiopia.
See the press reports below for details.
Wed 31 July 2013
ETHIOPIA: Army Worm Destroys 8,368 Hectare of Cropland Region
ETHIOPIA: Close to 8,368ha of belg cropland was reportedly destroyed by army worms in Wolayita zone of Southern Regional State, an area that suffered from late onset of the 2013 belg rains and subsequent heavy rains that damaged belg crops, a weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs revealed.
Sun 09 June 2013