Integrated Pest Management to combat the Russian Wheat Aphid

integrated pest management or IPM is all
about managing and preventing crop pests through a mix of chemical biological and
cultural controls. IPM aims to stop pests from getting to economically damaging
levels but also to provide a long-term solution for crop pests incursions. IPM
is not about abandoning chemical use all together rather it aims to reduce our
reliance and pesticides as the sole means of pest control on farm. We know
that when we rely on pesticides too much we get problems with resistance and
eventual control failures down the track. There are steps growers can take to
adopt IPM principles. The first one is monitoring routine
monitoring is really important in any IPM program this involves monitoring of
both pest and beneficial species to make the most out of monitoring. The next step is to get a positive identification of your pest or beneficial species. In
addition to industry specialists that can help you out with this there are
resources available such as the GRDC ute guide. Another IPM principle that growers can
adopt is spraying only if necessary. Avoid prophylactic spraying or spraying
just in case this will only harm your beneficials and make your cropping system
less resilient to secondary pests. Incursions that could have been down the
track. If spraying is necessary choose selective over broad spectrum
insecticides where possible, and finally growers can incorporate cultural control
methods. This can include making management
decisions around crop rotation, time of sowing, grazing, tillage or cultivation
that make the environment less favorable to pests. So we know Russian Wheat Aphid are not
widely distributed across South Australia and also in parts of western
Victoria particularly in the Wimmera and Mallee we found commonalities around
greenbridge so where has been volunteered cereals and grasses in
paddocks over summer, late herbicide applications and early sowing. As we
head into spring we’re heading into a relatively so-called high risk period for russian wheat aphid infestations which is typically from around stem elongation
through the soft dough stage and based on overseas experience this would be
potentially the period when the highest impact on yield are likely to be seen. so the FITE strategy at GRDC
initiative which has four steps to help advise growers and advises around how to manage Russian Wheat Aphid going forward. The first step is around how to find and
locate Russian Wheat Aphid within cereal paddocks. The second step is to positively
identify Russian Wheat Aphid through consultation with industry specialists.
The next step is to adopt the threshold approach. Based on overseas literature
there are two thresholds have been advised for growers in Austrlia. Up until
the tillering stage there’s an economic threshold of when chemical sprays should be applied, which is about twenty percent of tillers infected with Russian Wheat Aphid. As we step into that higher risk period in spring that threshold is reduced to
about ten percent of tillers showing signs of infection of Russian Wheat Aphid. The fourth-step is around enacting management and currently there are two
chemicals that have been registered by APVMA under emergency use permits. Those two products are chlorpyrifos and primicarb. Both of those products have been shown
to work very effectively against Russian Wheat Aphid both in south australia and
Victoria. There are numerous benefits to integrated pest management such as
conserving beneficials by the judicious use of chemicals and only applying
chemicals whenever needed. There are also benefits the environment and importantly
IPM will also extend the life of agrochemicals account that we currently have at our disposal.

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