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BANGKOK 21 April 2019 15:59

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Well, it's finally arrived in Kanchanaburi and Tak and shouldn't really have been a surprise.

 

The fall armyworm has arrived in Thailand.

 

With the abundant use of chemical pesticides there won't be many predators around to fight off this pest.

 

I wonder what the effect will be here in Thailand? The govt say effects will be small as Thailand's predominant crop is rice, not maize or corn. Trouble is, reading up on the pest in Africa, it also infests rice crops.......

 

I see a rather predictable rush to more chemical pesticide use. The fall armyworm is, however, rather adaptable and can quickly build resistance to pesticides. In addition, in maize, it burrows deep into the stalk, where sprays don't reach. Chemical pesticide spray is rather ineffective.

 

Planting of desmodium legumes (a type of cover crop) has been effective. Simply pouring dry earth, sand, charcoal dust, all work after a fashion but treating each plant individually would be labour-intensive.

 

South-african countries have been proactive in working with South-American countries to try to combat this pest.

 

I hope Thailand will follow suit.

 

My interest in this is in part due to my wife running a chicken farm where the staple ingredient of the feed is corn. I'm wondering what will happen to feed prices once this pest really takes hold.

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I'm sorry, not trying to hijack your topic...but "army-worm" conjures up all kinds of humorous images here in Thailand...😂 

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