Farmers in Northland, New Zealand, are facing a tough battle against a pest that is causing havoc in their crops— the Fall Armyworm.
This new insect has been wreaking havoc, and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has shifted its focus from eradication to long-term management, as it seems the pest is here to stay.
The Fall Armyworm is not only affecting commercial growers but also backyard gardeners like Liz Sayers, who plants vegetables to supplement her pension. It’s disheartening for her to find her seedlings destroyed just days after planting.
One farmer, Jennifer Ross, who owns Left Fields farm in Waipu, has experienced firsthand the destructive power of these armyworms. Jennifer usually supplies restaurants and locals with chemical-free veggies but has had to close her farm due to the damage caused by the armyworms and recent floods.
Farmers and growers in Northland are seeking guidance on how to cope with this pest.