Sur­vey tar­gets farm pests

Shepparton News - Country News - - DAIRY NEWS -

In­sect pests are in­creas­ingly cost­ing north­ern Vic­to­rian and south­ern NSW dairy farm­ers time and money, but new re­search is now be­ing con­ducted to shed greater light on the prob­lem.

To date, the chal­lenge has been the vari­able na­ture across farms, re­gions, sea­sons, years and even the types of in­sect pests change from year to year.

This in turn makes it ex­tremely hard for farm­ers to de­ter­mine the best ap­proach, mak­ing it a costly ex­er­cise to sort out.

The re­search, sup­ported by Dairy Aus­tralia, will work to pin­point the in­sects dam­ag­ing dairy pas­tures across all of Vic­to­ria, south­ern NSW, South Aus­tralia and Tas­ma­nia and lead to more ac­cu­rate meth­ods to com­bat the pests.

Dairy Aus­tralia pro­gram man­ager Richard Ro­mano said an on­line sur­vey had been de­vel­oped as part of the re­search in or­der to im­prove un­der­stand­ing of the type, dis­tri­bu­tion and fre­quency of ma­jor in­sect pests of peren­nial pas­tures across the south-east Aus­tralia dairy re­gions.

‘‘To en­sure the re­search is as de­tailed as pos­si­ble to quan­tify the sit­u­a­tion and to find the best cost-sav­ing mea­sures, we are en­cour­ag­ing as many dairy farm­ers across north­ern Vic­to­ria and south­ern NSW as pos­si­ble to com­plete the short sur­vey,’’ Mr Ro­mano said.

‘‘The sur­vey work will also be used to help tar­get re­search and de­vel­op­ment in the fu­ture.’’

Mr Ro­mano said he had heard from a num­ber of farm­ers across the Mur­ray Dairy re­gion about dif­fer­ent in­sect pests and the dam­age they were caus­ing.

The sur­vey can be found at: www.sur­vey­mon­key.com/r/AUIn­sects

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