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Fall armyworm on rice

Spodoptera frugiperda
  • Avoid late or off-season planting and dont plant new crop near infested fields
  • Avoid staggered planting (planting at different dates in the same field), as this provides a continous source of food for the pest
  • Use of fertilizers for rice plants to be vigorous and able to compensate for damage done and apply at the right time
  • Use short maturing rice varieties that are less preferred by the fall armyworm to escape the pest infestation that might occur later in the season
  • Establish your seedbeds far from large areas of weeds
  • Reduce larval infestations by effective management of nearby grasses. Remove weeds from areas outside of fields and plough all fallow land
  • Conserve shelters and flowering plants on the edges for beneficial insects such as predators and parasitoids
  • Rapid disposal of rice residues after harvest
  • Sample plants every 10 feet along a line across the field and repeat this process in a second and third area, paying close attention to the crop margins
  • Caterpillars: light green to dark brown with longitudinal stripes. Dark head with an upside down pale Y-shaped marking on the front. The second-to-last body segment has four dark spots forming a square (3rd instar and above)
  • After germination of seedlings, scout fields weekly for larvae on plants and whether the problem is widespread or confined to certain areas or edges.
  • Fall armyworm are more likely to be a problem in late-planted fields and in fields surrounded by pasture.
  • Fall armyworm will feed initially on the foliage, then move to spikelets within the panicles, therefore they should also be monitored
  • Use a pheromone with the Universal Bucket Trap to estimate adult moth population
  • On small-scale farms, hit or shake the foliage to make the fall armyworm larvae drop into the water and drown in paddy rice
  • In paddy rice, flood infested fields for a few hours to kill the armyworm larvae.
  • Use microbial biopesticides based on bacteria, fungi and viruses if available

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