Agriculture Minister Mark Furner

April 1, 2021

The State Government has welcomed the emergency use approval of a biopesticide to combat fall armyworm.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) had issued an Emergency Use Permit which allows Fawligen to be used on the invasive pest.

“The swift approval of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ application, prepared jointly with AgBiTech – the Australian company that developed and produces Fawligen – is a significant step in the battle against this voracious pest,” Mr Furner said.

“Thanks to the APVMA’s prompt assessment and approval of DAF’s application, valuable time has been gained in the search to find an effective management option for FAW.

“The emergency use permit will allow industry to use Fawligen and for DAF entomologists to expand their important research to assess (its) effectiveness under Australian conditions.”

Mr Furner said Fawligen was a naturally occurring caterpillar virus that targets fall armyworm. It is produced in the United States by AgBiTech.

“Fawligen is a new product in Australia and the broader research made possible by the emergency use permit will be vital in determining how and when to best use it,” he said

“Fawligen is a welcome addition to the options available for controlling fall armyworm, particularly in crops such as sweet corn, maize and sorghum where currently available options are limited or ineffective.”

The Minister said the further research would provide valuable data to help AgBiTech achieve its aim of gaining full Australian registration for Fawligen.

AgBiTech’s General Manager for Australia Philip Armytage said Fawligen was best used as part of an integrated pest management system.

“Fawligen will work as an important management tool when used in strategic combinations with natural enemies and conventional chemistry options,” Mr Armytage said.

“AgBiTech will be providing a training program for farmers, agronomists and researchers who are considering using Fawligen.”

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2 Responses to "Biopesticide Gets Emergency Permit"

  1. Peanutchipper  April 2, 2021

    Fawligen has been registered as a pesticide in the USA since 2016 (https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/ppls/087978-00004-20161024.pdf). Why has it taken until this pest moth is now established right across Australia for the Australian Government to take action? We could have stamped this out when there were just a handful of moths in the Torres Strait. Better still, we could have helped the countries to our north stamp it out so it wouldn’t be spreading south. I wish I had shares in AgBiTech. They’re going to make a killing.

    Reply
  2. Disgruntled  April 3, 2021

    Peanutchipper, you got that right. These days it seems as if the gate is only shut after the horse is well and truly bolted and things are out of hand. Should some of our farming organisations also share some blame on these matters?

    This probably would not have happened many years ago when the Queensland Grain Growers Association was in full flight as they were always very proactive and were always “on to it” early! The QGGA was certainly an outstanding representation of farming interests.

    Reply

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