Next invasion of Taiwan from China could be fall armyworm
2019-05-14

In addition to fears of the spread of African swine fever, a new scourge from China could soon be threatening the livelihood of Taiwanese farmers, the fall armyworm.

The fall armyworm (FAW), which looks similar to the tobacco cutworm, but is a more serious threat, has recently caused large-scale damage in China, Africa, and South Asia. According to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), a single FAW can produce 1,500-2,000 eggs in a lifetime, and the adults are very good at flying, up to 100 kilometers in a night.

The distance between China and Taiwan is very short in certain areas, such as Kinmen, which is only a few kilometers away from Xiamen in Fujian Province. Officials worry that large swaths of sorghum crops could first bear the brunt of the assault from the voracious caterpillars.

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