Meat and Livestock Australia has ramped up alarm about the spread of fall armyworm out of far north Queensland.
Fall armyworm was first detected on two Torres Strait islands last January and on the mainland at Bamaga on the tip of Cape Yorke last month.
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has developed key resources for producers including information about fall armyworm detections in Queensland, crop and pasture impacts, current geographic spread, identification tips and management advice.
MLA is continuing to monitor the situation including any potential impacts for the livestock sector.
Fall armyworm is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Americas and since 2016 has spread to Africa, the Indian subcontinent, China and South-East Asia.
Adult moths are highly mobile and can fly long distances with suitable weather conditions.
MLA said Australia's climate and the production of suitable hosts are favourable for fall armyworm to establish and spread.
Fall armyworms have now been detected on a property in the Gulf country of north-western Queensland and in South Johnstone, Tolga, Lakeland and the Burdekin area in North Queensland.
Traps have been established or are being established by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) at many sites in Queensland including Burdekin, Bowen, Mackay, Richmond, Rockhampton, Longreach, Kingaroy, Emerald, Biloela, Bundaberg, Gayndah, Nambour, Dalby, Goondiwindi, Gatton, Toowoomba and Brisbane.
Fall armyworm is reported to feed on tropical and sub-tropical grasses in grazing systems overseas.
The pest also infests crops like maize, sugarcane, cotton, rice, sorghum along with fruit and vegetable crops.
Its potential to damage native grases (eg, Mitchell grass, spear grass, blue grasses) and sown pastures (buffel grass, Rhodes grasses) is still unclear.
Hay production, including lucerne, may be at risk of production loss including irrigated production over winter in warmer regions, MLA said.