Fall armyworm was initially detected in traps on two islands in the Torres Strait (islands of Saibai and Erub) in late January 2020, these detections were previously reported to the IPPC. Further detections of the pest have been confirmed from traps and from maize crops in Queensland on the Australian mainland, including Bamaga (tip of Cape York) in early February; Gulf of Carpentaria, in mid-February; South Johnstone, Tolga and Lakeland in early March; and Bowen and Burdekin regions in mid-March 2020. Fall armyworm was also confirmed from traps in Katherine, Northern Territory in late March 2020.
After assessment of the pest’s biology, the widespread nature of detections, and the available tools for eradication; it is unlikely that fall armyworm will be technically feasible to eradicate. However, the final consideration by Australia’s decision-making body for national exotic plant pest eradication is still pending.
All levels of Government and Industry will work together to ensure appropriate management options are available to growers and identify research priorities.