Insect management support
Grain growers and advisers have insect-management support to help them plan crop pest control in 2018 and beyond.
Grains Research and Development Corporation has released an updated version of I SPY, a comprehensive identification manual on insects of southern and western broadacre farming systems of Australia.
Now available online at grdc. com.au/i-spy, the manual covers basic taxonomy, important insect groups and identification keys and descriptions of common species, as well as information on monitoring, integrated pest management, IPM, principles and biosecurity.
The updated manual includes the latest information on cultural, biological and chemical control options for more than 40 pests. This includes the addition of the African black beetle, as well as the Russian wheat aphid, which has become established in Australia.
The new edition also includes up-to-date information on emerging insecticide resistance issues and links to new resources regarding resistance management, IPM strategies and economic thresholds.
Manual co-author Dr Paul Umina, of cesar research organisation and the University of Melbourne, said I SPY highlighted the importance of insect identification in informing sound and sustainable pest management decision-making by growers and their advisers.
“Correct identification is im- portant for effective control, preventing insecticide misuse and potential increases in incidences of resistance,” he said.
“Incorrect identification lead to costly mistakes.”
The manual was designed and produced through the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative, with input from numerous state agricultural departments, cesar and The University of Melbourne.
It aims to increase awareness and knowledge of major broadacre pest and beneficial species; the ability of users to identify key invertebrates to order or family level; familiarity with invertebrate lifecycles and biology; familiarity with sampling and monitoring techniques; understanding of pest control principles; awareness of the role of biological and cultural pest con- can trol; and awareness of biosecurity and surveillance.
With key cropping pests such as diamondback moth, redlegged earth mite, some aphids and several grain-storage pest insects developing resistance to various insecticides, the grains industry recognises the need to move towards strategic and alternative control options that better target the pests of concern.
Dr Pirtle said integrating a range of effective and sustainable pest-management strategies would remove reliance on any single method of control in the future.
“I SPY outlines management options that can be implemented to assist growers in reducing their reliance on broad-spectrum chemicals for pest control in their cropping systems,” she said.