China: Voracious Fall Armyworm Invades South China
The Fall Armyworm (FAW; Spodoptera frugiperda) – a crop-eating pest – first detected in China in January 2019 has spread across China’s southern border and currently impacts about 8,500 hectares (127,000 mu) of grain production in Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hunan and Hainan provinces. Officially, Chinese authorities have employed an emergency action plan to monitor and respond to the pest. FAW has no natural predators in China and its presence may result in lower production and crop quality of corn, rice, wheat, sorghum, sugarcane, cotton, soybean and peanuts among other cash crops. Experts report that there is a high probability that the pest will spread across all of China’s grain production area within the next 12 months.