Insect pest risk
Fall armyworm (FAW; Spodoptera frugiperda) is a polyphagous pest that reached Australia in early 2020 and has since spread through many northern and eastern cropping regions. It has so far shown a marked preference for maize and sweet corn crops. Australian research is currently looking at how this pest will interact with Australian cropping systems and native vegetation, pest monitoring, natural enemies, developing appropriate thresholds, and management opportunities. FAW has demonstrated resistance to a range of insecticides overseas, and so resistance management will play an important part of management programs. More information on this pest is available at the Beatsheet.
|High risk||Moderate risk||Low risk|
||Pre-sowing check of paddocks|
||Use of non-selective pesticides for other pests in vegetative stages can flare helicoverpa.||Maize varieties with husks extending 50-80 mm beyond the top of the cob and closing tightly around the silks restrict entry of larvae into the cob.|
|Black field earwig||Damaging|
|Swarming leaf beetles||Damaging||Damaging|
|Red shouldered leaf beetles||Present||Damaging||Present|
|Green vegetable bugs||Present||Damaging||Damaging|
|Two spotted mites||Present||Damaging|
|Red banded shield bug||Present||Damaging||Damaging|
|Yellow peach moth||Damaging|
|Present||Present in crop but generally not damaging
|Damaging||Crop susceptible to damage and loss|
Key IPM considerations for maize
- Economic damage is most likely to occur during establishment. Use germinating grain baits or direct soil sampling to provide information on risk.
- Use hybrids with resistance to wallaby ear (a mycoplasma transmitted by maize leafhoppers)
- Where helicoverpa larvae are present after mid March, the majority will enter diapause when they pupate. Pupae busting to prevent population carryover makes a valuable contribution to the area-wide management of H. armigera in the local area.
- The use of NPV for helicoverpa control in maize is effective, and can be applied through overhead irrigation (centre pivot/lateral move).