Good news for South African maize producers who planted the YieldGard Bt-maize with the seed company Monsanto’s MON89034 technology, is that it provides protection against fall armyworm.
Kobus Steenekamp, managing director of Monsanto SA, says the protection was confirmed by Prof. Johnnie van den Berg, entomologist at the North West University. They are investigating the difference in control between different Bt-technologies.
Van der Berg is also a member of a group of scientists investigating the appearance, infestation, damage caused and control of the worm. The group will shortly start with trials to determine whether the same insecticides can be applied to fall armyworm and African armyworm.
“YieldGard ll maize, available in South Africa since 2010, provides protection against Lepidoptera species like stalk borers, but it can also play an important role in integrated pest control against the armyworm infestation in South Africa in combination with other controls and agronomic practices,” Steenekamp said.
He said CropLife SA and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries recommend products which were registered for other species of Lepidoptera, must be used to fight fall armyworm.
“It is important to control the worms in the early larvae stadium. As soon as the larvae reach the cob, it is too late to use chemicals.”