Apr. 8, 2021
Fall Armyworm (FAW) has spread rapidly since its invasion in China in 2018 and now has a lethal presence in crops such as corn in 27 provinces and municipalities.
It is estimated that, in 2021, nearly 40 million mu of farming area will be infested with FAW in China, representing overwhelmingly higher stress over last year. The latest data shows that 180,000 mu of corn has been invaded by this pest.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the prevention and control of FAW by including it as the first class of crop diseases and pests in China for focused control. Up to now, the cumulative area of farming land subjected to prevention and control in China has reached 32.48 million mu. On March 28, the International Conference on Fall Armyworm Precision Management co-hosted by South China Agricultural University and FMC China Investment Co., Ltd was held in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, where more than 100 top-level academic experts, leaders from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and industry professionals discussed the developments of FAW and the prevention and control of it at home and abroad as well as strategies for FAW prevention and control to ensure China’s food security.
National Fall Armyworm Prevention and Control Seminar
At present, pesticides are adopted as the main means for emergency FAW prevention and control in China. According to Wu Kongming, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and leader of the National Expert Group for FAW prevention and control, the pest has developed resistance to pyrethroids, carbamates, organophosphorus and nicotine pesticides, and some even with high resistance, but has low resistance to new pesticides such as emamectin benzoate and chlorantraniliprole. Field tests of dozens of pesticides show that chlorantraniliprole, emamectin benzoate and Spinetoram, among others, demonstrated a higher effect on FAW. Wu added that the long-term use of chemical pesticides for FAW prevention and control can lead to pests becoming resistant to these new pesticides. Therefore, it is vital to transit from emergency prevention and control to sustainable management as soon as possible.
Wang Zhenying, a researcher at the Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said that integrated management practices should be applied for FAW prevention and control and crop protection, including demarcated management and building of blocking belts, application of pest-resistant varieties, seed treatment technology, biological control technology, and spreading of granules by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). In areas with generations of pests in large numbers, pesticides with high efficacy and low toxicity can be used for emergency use, but attention should be paid to their application and rotation of pesticides to delay the development of resistance.
Wang Zhenying，Researcher at the Institute of Plant Protection
In recent years, aerial plant protection in agriculture in China has maintained a strong development momentum. He Xiongkui, a professor at China Agricultural University, introduced the R&D and application of precision-control technology and equipment at the meeting. He said that precision-variable intelligent-spraying technology has a good development prospect. In this regard, professional sensors, spray decision calculation, operation quality and reliability are important aspects of precision-spraying technology and equipment, and the improvement of the targeted deposition utilization rate of pesticides is the goal. Large-scale field tests and production verification are needed for target spraying and precision-variable spraying technology to further improve the convenience and practical level of technical products.
He Xiongkui，Professor at China Agricultural University
The research team of Yuan Huizhu, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, has overcome the technical challenge of spherical particles smaller than 1 mm being difficult to manufacture. They have micronized the particles so that the spreading of granules can achieve the coverage effect similar to spraying and realize the goal of totally replacing spray droplets with granules. Related studies show that the FAW prevention and control effect of spreading granules by plant protection drones is superior to spraying in the same way.
Yuan Huizhu, Researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
At the meeting, Li Jianhong, a professor at the Huazhong Agricultural University, Eliseu Pereira from the Federal University of Viscosa, Brazil, Charles J. Mason from the Pennsylvania State University, and other experts and scholars, gave respective reports on the pesticide sensitivity and target mutation detection of regional field populations of FAW; the characteristics of occurrence and damages as well as control techniques in annual breeding areas of FAW; the research and application of seed coatings with systemic, synergistic effect on FAW; the relevance among pest-resistant genes, intestinal microorganisms and plant resistance, etc. These insights provided important theoretical methods and concrete practical suggestions for further understanding, prevention and control of FAW.
FMC China has made pioneering efforts in FAW control. Immediately after the FAW invasion in China in 2019, FMC China worked closely with 40 plant protection stations in provincial, city and county levels on extensive field demonstrations by Coragan® insect control. In February 2020, FMC’s patented product with Rynaxypyr® active was included in the list of recommended pesticides for China FAW emergency prevention and control. By the end of 2020, over 250 joint meetings on FAW control and more than 300 field tests were carried out with FMC China’s strong support, benefiting over 10,000 growers in 100 counties and cities that span 26 provinces across China.
At the meeting, John Andaloro, Global Technical Product Manager at FMC, and Tan Tangfeng, Pesticide Product Development Manager of FMC China, respectively, introduced the actual cases of FAW prevention and control in the way of integrated pest management (IPM) and insecticide resistance management (IRM) by FMC in countries such as India, Brazil and Australia, and the pioneering application of FAW prevention and control technologies such as precise application, drip irrigation and UAV spraying in China to prevent and control FAW, which has demonstrated remarkable results. They also presented participants FMC’s global experiences, local tests and demonstrations of new technologies and continuously optimized pesticide application methods that can be referenced in FAW prevention and control.
John Andaloro, Global Technical Product Manager at FMC
Tan Tangfeng, Pesticide Product Development Manager of FMC China
Tracy Wu, FMC China President, General Manager of FMC Agricultural Solutions China and Business Director for North Asia, said that FMC is committed to helping agricultural development through sustainable crop protection. The company strives to be a devoted partner in FAW prevention and control with its leading products, technologies and application tools, to ensure a higher-level safety of users, crops and farming environment as well as timely and integrated pest management, promote high-quality and high-yield crops and ensure food security.
Wu Zhaohui, President of FMC (China)
Now, FAW has entered its active period and shown an obvious re-emergence trend. Timely and accurate early warning data, new pesticide products and innovative application technology are of great significance for green, efficient prevention and control of FAW. This meeting provided specific measures and suggestions for the green and accurate prevention and control of FAW in this year and the building of sustainable prevention and control system, contributing to helping the country win the fight against FAW.
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