The number of farms where a tropical agriculture pest that destroys maize and sweetcorn crops has more than doubled since January, Foundation for Arable Research says. Foundation general business and operations manager Ivan Lawrie said the fall armyworm moth larvae were found on 119 farms this week, up from 45 farms in January. Biosecurity New Zealand deputy director-general Stuart Anderson said eggs from the pest were found in Tauranga for the first time in March last year. In December the larvae was found on 18 farms in the North Island, and by January it had spread to the South Island. The moth was probably windblown from Australia. Ivan Lawrie says Armyworm has not yet spread to Canterbury, one of our biggest grain growing areas.
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