Aphids will ride the wind to Queensland
WHAT’S that? It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s... a Russian Wheat Aphid riding the breeze to a cereal crop near you.
The aphid was detected on the Liverpool Plans in northern New South Wales in late-2018 and research entomologist Maarten van Helden from the South Australian Research and Development Institute predicts it will be found in Queensland’s winter cereal crops within the next few seasons.
Mr van Helden warned growers to be alert but not alarmed.
“While (the aphid) is a high priority pest, it is manageable and the best thing growers and advisers can do is regularly monitor crops for signs of the pest.
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries senior entomologist Hugh Brier said there aphid had two key identifying features.
One is its “elongated green body”, the other the aphid’s absence of siphunculi (cornices), colloquially known as its “honey tubes” or “exhaust pipes.”
Mr Brier said the department agrees with Mr van Helden’s assessment that the aphids are coming.
“It’s a matter of when it comes and then mitigating it.”
He said the aphids will likely “ride the winter winds”, which blow from the south and south-west.
EN ROUTE: The Russian Wheat Aphid has an elongated green body and no "honey tubes".