Fall Army Worm infests 10 000 ha

LIMPOPO – The Spokesperson for the department, Selby Mokgotho, said the highest number of hectares affected is in the Waterberg district with 7 717, followed by Capricorn with 1 598. The third district is Vhembe with 430 followed my Mopani with 106. Sekhukhune is the least affected with two hectares.

These saw a total of 1 272 crop farmers affected in all the districts.

“These farmers have been given advice on the proper management of the FAW and also supported with insecticides for the control of this destructive pest.

“The department continues to monitor the occurrence and extent of this pest through pheromone traps placed in various areas across the province, scouting carried out by scientists and advisors and reports submitted by farmers and other affected stakeholders.

“Awareness activities are also carried out in the various areas of Limpopo to encourage reporting cases and proper management of FAW.

“Although the maize season is left with just a couple of months and some of the maize crop is approaching maturity, farmers who have planted maize, sorghum and other host species are encouraged to continue to scout their crop and report any FAW infestation detected for assistance.

“Affected farmers are therefore advised to report FAW incidences to their local agricultural offices immediately for assistance with identification, confirmation and management of the pest,” said Mokgotho.

Meanwhile, the department confirms one bird flu case reported in the Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality in Groblersdal on the farm Rooiblom Boerdery.

The farm owner – a citrus farmer – keeps a number of fowls near the house for her own consumption.

Some of the fowls died in large numbers and bird flu was diagnosed from the samples taken and confirmed through the laboratory findings.

The farm is now quarantined and the fowls have been destroyed and incinerated.

Surveillance is ongoing in the area, especially in the neighbouring farms to prevent further outbreaks.

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Silas Nduvheni

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