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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376966

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Methods for Insect Pest Management of Crop Insect Pests

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Assessment of impacts of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on maize production in Ghana

item KOFFI, DJIMA - University Of Ghana
item KYEREMATEN, ROSINA - University Of Ghana
item EZIAH, VINCENT - University Of Ghana
item OSEI-MENSAH, YAA OGUABI - University Of Ghana
item AFREH-NUAMAH, KWAME - University Of Ghana
item ABOAGYE, EBENEZER - Crop Research Institute - Ghana
item OSAE, MICHAEL - Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAECGH)
item Meagher, Robert - Rob

Submitted to: Journal of Integrated Pest Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2020
Publication Date: 10/15/2020
Citation: Koffi, D., Kyerematen, R., Eziah, V.Y., Osei-Mensah, Y., Afreh-Nuamah, K., Aboagye, E., Osae, M., Meagher Jr, R.L. 2020. Assessment of impacts of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on maize production in Ghana. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 11(1):1-7.

Interpretive Summary: The fall armyworm invaded several West African countries in 2016 causing severe injury to corn plants and economic damage. Researchers at the University of Ghana in collaboration with a scientist from USDA-ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, conducted a survey of farmers and agricultural officials throughout Ghana on their perceptions and knowledge of the fall armyworm, the infestation level of the pest, and the management practices being employed. The infestation levels of fall armyworm were also monitored independently of the survey and showed that the populations increased during the corn season and were lowest in 2018, three years after its invasion. This information will help corn growers in future years predict population levels and implement control measures to limit the economic damage caused by this new pest to Africa

Technical Abstract: Spodoptera frugiperda was considered an insect pest only in the Americas until its first report in African countries in 2016. In this study, farmers and agricultural officials in Ghana were interviewed on their perceptions and knowledge of the pest, on infestation and maize yield variations across years, and on management practices. Farms were inspected to determine the infestation level of 100 plants per hectare. Interviews revealed that farmers were familiar with the larval stages of this pest and noticed that the pest occurred throughout the year, but populations of S. frugiperda increased only during cropping seasons. Infestation levels reported by farmers in surveys were much lower in 2018 (30.38%) than in 2017 (80.92%). Farm inspections confirmed that infestation levels were much lower in 2018 (20.90%) than 2017 (73.70%). The belt formed by Guinea Savannah, Transitional Zone, and Semi-Deciduous Forest Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZs) recorded the highest infestations while the lowest were observed from the Sudan Savannah and Tropical Rain Forest AEZs. Insecticides were the most commonly used tactic to manage populations of this new pest. Maize yields increased across Ghana between 2013 and 2015 from 1.52 to 1.73 t/ha, decreased between 2015 and 2017 to 1.55 t/ha, and increased to 1.69 t/ha in 2018. The impact of fall armyworm injury to maize production is discussed.