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.”