Pest management – case of the fall army worm

By Vincent Simwiinga, ZARI

In management of any pest, be it insect, fungus, weed, bacterium or virus, chemical pesticides application is recommended as the last resort. Chemicals differ in their levels of toxicity, persistence periods in the environment and their structural formulas upon which they’re built.

Therefore we recommend that since the fall armyworm (FAW ) is a new pest, let our farmers and other stakeholders employ other Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) such as the use of good quality seed, increased plant diversity in their maize fields, avoiding late or staggered planting, field sanitation (weeding ) and paying frequent visits to their fields (scouting ) to check on the general plant health system of the field.

SOME EFFECTIVE PESTICIDES AGAINST THE FAW evaluated and recommended for this season and their dilution rates include :

  1. AMPLIGO (synthetic liquid formulation )- 10-15 mls/16 ltrs water
  2. DENIM FIT ( synthetic water dispersible granules )- 1 satchet/ knapsack 16ltr sprayer
  3. OXY-M ( Bio-pesticide liquid formulation)- 45-50mls/16 Ltrs of water
  4. LOOPERKILL ( Bio-pesticide,liquid formulation)- 45-50mls /16 ltrs water 
  5. DEVACARB ( Synthetic liquid formulation)- 15-20mls /16 ltrs water 
    NIMBECIDINE (Bio pesticide liquid formulation)- 50-60mls/16 ltrs water 
  6. NICOMEEM( Bio pesticide liquid formulation) – 45-50mls /16ltrs water

NOTE: There’s a range in the pesticides formulation volumes because the effectiveness will depend on the growth stage of the armyworm larvae ( caterpillars ) and also the crop stage. We don’t spray when plants have tasseled, as it’s not economic and pesticide can kill farmers’ friends; i.e insects to pollinate the maize and to kill/eat( natural enemies) the caterpillars.

Hence Bio-pesticides are more recommended before synthetics are used so that the human and environment are protected under conditions of use of these pesticides

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