Fall Army Worm control in Maize
The Fall Army Worm (FAW) is the most destructive insect pest of many economically important crops across the globe. Fall Army Worm insect pest is native to tropical and subtropical regions of America. However, it has invaded many African countries and lead to huge economic losses.
In India, FAW has been reported for the first time during May 2018 in Karnataka state in Maize crop and subsequently the insect spread to other states till mid of the March 2019. Whereas, in the northeast region of India, this invasive pest was reported for the first during late March 2019 in the Lunglei district of Mizoram and West Tripura district of Tripura. Subsequently, it has detected causing massive outbreaks during the month of April in Mizoram state and Nagaland state. Later, it was detected causing damage to maize crops during early May in Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh states of northeast India.
Noticing the invasiveness and rapid spread of FAW, it is essential to prevent the FAW infestation in early stages in the field. Therefore, we have come up with this article on six steps to control Fall Army Worm (FAW).
Six simple steps to control Fall Army Worm (FAW)
Step I: Install pheromone traps in the maize field @5-7/ acre to monitor the infestation of the FAW insect during the land preparation stage.
Step II: At the seedling stage of the crop, diagnose the field for the FAW infestation and go for management practices of fall army worm when the infestation is more than10% or at least 5% of the plants are damaged. Erect bird perches @10/ acre if you found at least 10% infestation of the worm.
Step III: The infestation may decrease to an extent if you follow the above steps properly. However, it may not happen. The farmer may see the larval stages of the FAW in the whorls of the maize plants. If it happens so, add dry sand into the maize plant whorls soon after the first observation of the destructive FAW insect pest.
Step IV: The farmer can also install the pheromone traps @15/acre for mass trapping the FAW adult insects (moths).
Step V: Release parasitoids like Trichogramma pretiosum OR Telenomus remus @ 50,000/ acre at weekly intervals. Apply BCA (bio-control agents) like Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki formulations @ 2g/liter (or) 400g/acre OR EPF (Entomo Pathogenic Formulations) like Metarhizium anisopliae talc formulation (1×108 CFU/g @ 5g/lt whorl application at 15-25 days after sowing or another 1 to 2 sprays at 10 days interval depending on the FAW insect pest damage.
Step VI: Chemical control of FAW is recommended when the insect pest is in 2nd / 3rd instars larval stage at 10-20% damage. Spray FAW insecticides like Spinetoram 11.7%SC @0.5 ml/lt water OR Thiamethoxam12.6%+lambdacyhalothrin9.5% @0.25ml/lt water OR Chlorantraniliprole18.5% SC @0.4 ml/lt water.
Conclusion: This is all about simple steps for managing Fall Army Worm in Maize fields. Comment below if you have any queries in regard to FAW control in Maize.