Fall armyworm

Fall armyworm

Fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, arrived on mainland Australia in February 2020.

Since then, FAW has established populations in northern areas of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The movement of FAW is being monitored with movement into more southerly areas expected during warmer months through spring, summer and autumn.

Early indications are that maize and sorghum broadacre crops are a preferred food source for FAW, but it has also been found in some pulses. Potential impacts of FAW on crops grown in more southerly areas and its seasonal migratory range are not yet fully understood.

Growers and advisers should monitor industry updates on the migratory movement of FAW. Regular monitoring of crops to identify signs of early FAW infestation and implementing approved control measures is the best way of minimising economic losses caused by this pest.

This portal provides access to important information for Australian grain growers, including the national Fall Armyworm Continuity Plan – a reference document that consolidates information about FAW and its management in grain crops.

If you suspect FAW is present in your region, report it immediately to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

The hotline will connect you to the responsible authority in your state or territory. Reporting the presence of FAW will assist in the response effort.

  • 09 Feb 2024, Growers on alert for Fall armyworm
    09 Feb 2024, Growers on alert for Fall armyworm

    Fall armyworm (FAW) are being detected at unprecedented levels in sorghum crops across Central Queensland, the Western and Darling Downs and northern New South Wales.

    Read more.

  • 04 Sept 2022, Fall armyworm steps and lessons
    04 Sept 2022, Fall armyworm steps and lessons

    The arrival of fall armyworm (FAW) in 2020 is a timely illustration of the importance of being forewarned and forearmed.

    Read more.

  • 04 Sep 2022, What happens in a pest incursion?
    04 Sep 2022, What happens in a pest incursion?

    Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of biosecurity when a new pest is found in Australia?

    Read more.

  • 04 Sep 2022, Multi-crop pests tackled on a coordinated front
    04 Sep 2022, Multi-crop pests tackled on a coordinated front

    Many pests can damage multiple crops across multiple industries, necessitating a coordinated, national approach to control measures and research.

    Read more.

  • 28 May 2021, What happens when an exotic pest arrives in Australia?
    28 May 2021, What happens when an exotic pest arrives in Australia?

    An important part of Australia’s biosecurity system is to prepare for the arrival of exotic pests.

    Read more.

  • 22 Mar 2021, Differences in insecticide sensitivity shown in fall armyworm
    22 Mar 2021, Differences in insecticide sensitivity shown in fall armyworm

    New research indicates there are variable levels of sensitivity to some insecticides between populations of fall armyworm in different geographical areas of Australia.

    Read more

  • The Beatsheet: FAW
    The Beatsheet: FAW

    Fall armyworm was first detected in February 2020. Eradication has been determined to be unfeasible and it is now classified as an endemic pest.

    Read more.

  • National Fall Armyworm Continuity Plan
    National Fall Armyworm Continuity Plan

    The national Fall Armyworm Continuity Plan will assist industry representatives in preparing more localised and industry-specific communication and extension material.

    Read more

  • Beatsheet: FAW pheromone traps
    Beatsheet: FAW pheromone traps

    Information on the pheromone trapping network data for QLD and northern NSW.

    Find out more

  • Beatsheet: Fall armyworm thresholds based on overseas data
    Beatsheet: Fall armyworm thresholds based on overseas data

    View fall armyworm thresholds based on overseas data.

    Read more

  • Western Australia fall armyworm larval identification guide
    Western Australia fall armyworm larval identification guide

    A Western Australian fall armyworm larval identification guide from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

    Open PDF

  • Queensland fall armyworm larval identification guide
    Queensland fall armyworm larval identification guide

    A Queensland fall armyworm larval identification guide from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF).

    Open PDF

  • Beatsheet: identifying armyworm larvae
    Beatsheet: identifying armyworm larvae

    Identifying armyworm larvae, a resource from Beatsheet – Pest Management for Australia’s Northern Grains region.

    Open PDF

  • Permits

    Insecticides will remain an important part of an IPM program, together with biological control and good agronomic practices. Consult relevant thresholds following the FITE principles; Find, Identify, Thresholds, Enact.

    This table summarises APVMA permits for the control of Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) in grain crops. While this list will be updated when new permits are approved, permit approvals can and do change regularly. The current permit must be consulted and the approved use pattern followed. To access available permits consult the APVMA’s permit portal and search for ‘fall armyworm’ with the ‘pest/purpose’ button checked.

    Existing registered product options are not covered on this page. Some insecticides may be registered in your crop for the control of other Armyworm, Lepidoptera or Helicoverpa species and may provide incidental control of fall armyworm. (read notes at the bottom of this page)

    Efficacy against Fall Armyworm in situations not specifically addressed by the registered product label or the below permits has not been considered by the APVMA and may prove to be ineffective. For further information contact the product manufacturer or your local agronomic advisor.

    Whilst care has been exercised in the development of this guidance, users should ensure that they seek their own advice in relation to the use of insecticides, the efficacy of the relevant APVMA permit/s, and operation of the relevant State or Territory control of use legislation.

    APVMA PERMIT APPROVED TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR FAW

    CROP

    INSECTICIDE

     

    Alpha-cypermethirn

    Indoxacarb

    Spinetoram

    Chlorantran-

    iliprole

    Emamectin

    S. frugiperda NPV
    (fawligen)

    Maize

    PER85447

    PER89530

    PER89390

    PER91386

    PER93226

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Sorghum

    PER85447

    -

    PER93482

    PER91616

    -

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Millet

    PER85447

    -

    PER89390

    PER91616

    -

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Peanut

    -

    PER90577

     

    PER86014

    -

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Specified
    pulse crops

    PER85447

    -

    -

    -

    -

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Soybean

    PER85447

    ----

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Specified
    winter cereals

    PER85447

    ---

    PER93226

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Canola

    ----

    -

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Sunflower

    -----

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Safflower

    -----

    PER90820

    PER91477

    Risk to
    beneficials
    a

    Very High

    Low

    Low

    Low

    Moderate

    No impact


    Internationally developed action thresholds are likely to provide the best guidance until locally developed thresholds become available. Late season crops may experience higher pest pressure as the FAW population builds.

    If chemical intervention is required, other pests (e.g. Helicoverpa, mites, aphids) might be incidentally exposed and growers should consider the implications of insecticide resistance management and the impact on natural enemies.

    Read the Croplife resistance management guidance for fall armyworm.

    Natural enemies, including egg and larval parasitoids and predators, are likely to be important in suppressing FAW populations. FAW is in the same family (Noctuidae) as many other lepidopteran pests of field crops e.g. loopers, Helicoverpa, cutworm and other armyworms. All these pests are attacked by various egg, larval and pupal parasitoids, predators, and diseases.

    Pesticides and bee protection: In addition to following all the product label (and approved permit) directions, good communication between growers and beekeepers on a local level can assist greatly in managing potential risk to bees. The online tool BeeConnected helps to facilitate this communication by connecting registered beekeepers with registered farmers and contractors, enabling two-way communication on the location of hives and crop protection activities.

    Notes:
    At the time of developing this guidance, it is understood that:
    i) current State and Territory control of use legislation permits use of a product in a specified crop or situation to deliberately targets pests that are not listed for control in that crop or situation. However, this is subject to all label Directions for Use being followed including; crop type, rate, timing/crop growth stage, withholding periods to harvest and grazing along with all ‘DO NOT’ constraint statements. Control of non-listed pests may still be ineffective.

  • Potential impact of fall armyworm on corn or maize
    Potential impact of fall armyworm on corn or maize

    Potential impact of fall armyworm on corn or maize – a factsheet resource prepared for Queensland maize growers by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF).

    Open PDF

  • Management in maize and sweet corn in Western Australia
    Management in maize and sweet corn in Western Australia

    Fall Armyworm in Western Australia – Management in maize and sweet corn, a resource for WA maize growers prepared by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

    Read more

  • Potential impact of fall armyworm on sorghum
    Potential impact of fall armyworm on sorghum

    Potential impact of fall armyworm on sorghum – a factsheet resource prepared for Queensland sorghum growers by QDAF.

    Read more

  • Management in sorghum in Western Australia
    Management in sorghum in Western Australia

    Fall Armyworm in Western Australia – Management in sorghum, a resource for WA sorghum growers prepared by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

    Read more

  • Potential impact of fall armyworm on wheat
    Potential impact of fall armyworm on wheat

    Potential impact of fall armyworm on wheat – a factsheet resource prepared for Queensland wheat growers by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF).

    Read more

  • Potential impact in winter cereals in the Northern region
    Potential impact in winter cereals in the Northern region

    A resource from Beatsheet – Pest Management for Australia’s Northern Grains region.

    Read more

  • Management in grains, canola and pulses - wheat, barley, oats, canola, pulses
    Management in grains, canola and pulses - wheat, barley, oats, canola, pulses

    Fall armyworm in Western Australia -Management in grains, canola and pulses wheat, barley, oats, canola, pulses from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

    Read more

  • Croplife resistance management
    Croplife resistance management

    The Croplife Australia resistance management strategy guidelines for Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) from CropLife Australia.

    Read more

  • 09 Feb 2024, Managing FAW in sorghum – is there a threshold yet?
    09 Feb 2024, Managing FAW in sorghum – is there a threshold yet?

    Late sorghum is susceptible to FAW damage, and potential yield loss, in the vegetative stage. This article discusses how the yield loss happens and how to determine if your crop is at risk.

    Read more.

  • 5 Jul 2021, Fall armyworm biology
    5 Jul 2021, Fall armyworm biology

    Information about the biology of fall armyworm from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

    Read more

  • 21 Dec 2020, Playing the waiting game on fall armyworm
    21 Dec 2020, Playing the waiting game on fall armyworm

    As the maize season ends in the tropics, the waiting game begins – what will fall armyworm (FAW) be attracted to next?

    Read more.

  • 15 Dec 2020, GRDC’s Grains Research Update on fall armyworm
    15 Dec 2020, GRDC’s Grains Research Update on fall armyworm

    Watch a recording of the Grains Research Update on fall armyworm and access the Update papers and Q&A’s from the event.

    Watch now

  • 9 Nov 2020, National Fall Armyworm Continuity Plan released
    9 Nov 2020, National Fall Armyworm Continuity Plan released

    The national Fall Armyworm Continuity Plan will assist industry representatives in preparing more localised and industry-specific communication and extension material.

    Read more

  • 30 Oct 2020, Podcast series on the on the impact and management of fall armyworm
    30 Oct 2020, Podcast series on the on the impact and management of fall armyworm

    A podcast series on the impact and management of fall armyworm has been released by the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PRBI).

    Listen now

  • 3 Aug 2020, Resources put growers on front foot against FAW
    3 Aug 2020, Resources put growers on front foot against FAW

    Grain growers have access to a range of information and resources to help them identify and – if required – manage the incursion of fall armyworm (FAW) in Western Australia.

    Read more

  • 1 Aug 2020, GRDC partnership investment on fall armyworm genetics and resistance
    1 Aug 2020, GRDC partnership investment on fall armyworm genetics and resistance

    By gaining a better understanding of fall armyworm’s (FAW) genetic make-up and insecticide sensitivities, effective pest management plans are being developed in a new CSIRO-led project.

    Read more

  • 31 Jul 2020, GRDC investment on fall armyworm current knowledge and RDE priorities
    31 Jul 2020, GRDC investment on fall armyworm current knowledge and RDE priorities

    Part of GRDC’s response to fall armyworm has been to invest in a project investigating its biology, spread and establishment potential, as well as options for improving industry capability to manage the pest now and into the future.

    Read more

  • Life cycle of the fall armyworm video
    Life cycle of the fall armyworm video

    Watch a video on the lifecycle of the fall armyworm by the Centre for Agricultural and Biscience International (CABI).

    Watch video

  • 27 Aug 2020, Pesticide resistant genes detected in fall armyworm from WA
    27 Aug 2020, Pesticide resistant genes detected in fall armyworm from WA

    Pesticide resistance genes have been detected in Western Australia’s fall armyworm population.

    Read more