Agronomists strive to contain a brand new American pest

India’s acute farm crisis has just been worsened by an American pestilence called fall armyworm and farmers, biologists and agronomists are scrambling to contain the attack. 

First detected in a field of maize in Karnataka in May, Bangalore’s National Bureau of Agriculture Insect Resource (NBAIR) confirmed presence of fall armyworm in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and now, in Maharashtra. 

Fall armyworm is native to the Americas and was first reporrted to have reached Africa in 2016. Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (Cabi) estimated in September that improper management of the armyworm could cost 10 of Africa’s major maize producing economies between $2.2 billion and $5.5 billion per year in lost maize harvests. 

Though known primary attacking maize fields, the fall armyworm also eats an additional 186 plant species, including sorghum and soya beans. Already, Maharashtra has detected a suspected fall armyworm....Read more


Source web page: Economic Times

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