Farmers urged to regularly inspect crops over armyworm

Last month farmers in Limpopo, North West and Free State reported the destructive caterpillar, adding further strain since the beginning of the drought.

An armyworm. Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Agriculture Department has urged farmers to inspect their maize and crops regularly in order to detect the fall armyworm as early as possible.

Last month farmers in Limpopo, North West and Free State reported the destructive caterpillar, adding further strain since the beginning of the drought.

The pest has now been positively detected in northern Pretoria.

The armyworm was first picked up in Africa last year and has spread to several countries, including Namibia, Zambia and Malawi.

The department's Bomikazi Molapo says: “The most effective way to deal with it is when it’s in the smallest form. Once the pest has developed it becomes bigger and more difficult to contain.”

LISTEN: Small farmer tells of concern amid armyworm infestation

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)