QDAF hosts national fall armyworm symposium

Grain Central, April 17, 2024

Unlike in previous years, large FAW larvae have been damaging developing sorghum grain. Photo: Beat Sheet

THE QUEENSLAND Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is hosting the National Fall Armyworm Symposium to share learnings and identify research, development, and extension priorities to manage fall armyworm.

To be held at Brisbane’s Ecosciences Precinct, Dutton Park, today and tomorrow, the forum will bring together representatives from industry, government, research agencies and funders.

Speakers include researchers and program leaders from government departments, universities, ASEAN Fall Armyworm Action, the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, and Hort Innovation.

Fall armyworm (FAW) has had a major impact since arriving in Qld in 2020.

It has been found in all states of Australia except South Australia, including in every Qld growing region from the Gulf and the Atherton Tablelands to the Darling Downs.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said FAW infestations in maize and sorghum this year were the most severe to date.

“Fall armyworm infestations are now found in every important growing area in Queensland,” Mr Furner said.

“With this year’s infestations being the most severe to date, the research and extension work being done by the department and other government and research agencies across the country is even more important.

“This symposium is a rare and valuable opportunity as industry and researchers across horticulture, grains, cotton, animal and sugar industries work together to address the fall armyworm challenge and protect Australian agriculture into the future.”

Hort Innovation CEO Brett Fifield said collaboration will be key to finding long-term solutions to FAW.

“As soon as fall armyworm arrived on our shores, the impacted industries swiftly leveraged their strong, collaborative relationships to support growers in northern Australia,” Mr Fifield said.

“This co-operative approach has continued over the past few years as the focus turns to long-term research into how to combat fall armyworm.

“This symposium highlights the power of industry coming together and partnering on key biosecurity challenges.”

The forum will be delivered through a Hort Innovation-funded project with support from the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative and GRDC.

The Qld Government allocated $1.867 million in 2020 to DAF’s FAW monitoring and research activities.

The 2021-22 State Budget included a further $3M over two years for FAW research, development, and extension.

Source: Queensland Government


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