Taiwan fighting losing battle against fall army worm: South Korea may be next

Less than two weeks after the first case of fall army worm was detected in Taiwan, the Council of Agriculture (COA) has confirmed a further 150 cases spread widely over the country, and yesterday, June 21, South Korea reported the first confirmed case on Jeju Island.

Statistics released by the Quarantine and Inspection Bureau show that there have been more than 5,000 reports since the first case was confirmed June 10, and a total of 151 confirmed cases as of June 21. Of the confirmed cases, 75 crops were completely destroyed by burying or burning, and 56 treated with pesticides.

Confirmed cases have been found in every county on the main island, and also Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu in the Taiwan Strait. However, the COA emphasized that they were still in the emergency prevention stage, attempting to stop the invasion. As part of the strategy, a NT$10,000 reward is being offered for reports leading to confirmed cases.

Council of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Quarantine and Inspection Bureau.

The COA appealed to farmers to contact the contingency team of the Quarantine Inspection Bureau if they have a suspected case, so that pesticides can by applied under the guidance of experts, urging farmers not to apply pesticides willy-nilly as this may lead to ineffective treatment and pesticide-resistance.

The fall army worm originated in South and Central America, and was first detected in Africa in 2016. After spreading through Africa and the Middle-east, it began a rapid and relentless march across Asia after being first detected in southern India in 2018.

Yesterday, June 21, South Korea notified the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) that a confirmed case of fall army worm was detected on Jeju Island.

Many countries and regions have reported destructive losses of 20-30% of corn and sugarcane crops, and some areas have even seen complete crop failures.

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Fall army worm hotline: 0800-039-131

Sources: United Daily News,

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One thought on “Taiwan fighting losing battle against fall army worm: South Korea may be next

  • June 25, 2019 at 4:23 am

    Let Asia work with Africa (lessons learnt) to manage fall armyworm
    Also all countries Asia- Africa need to harmonize strategies for FAW management


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