GRDC continues strong offensive against aphid


The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) continues to respond to the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia, incursion by further investing in a broad range of research, development and extension activities that will help better inform future management of the pest.

 First identified in Australia in May this year, Russian wheat aphid (RWA) is now relatively widespread across Victorian and South Australian cereal-growing areas and has recently been detected in southern New South Wales.

 “In an immediate response to the incursion and in yet another example of grower levies being put into action, the GRDC has been working behind the scenes to instigate and invest in a range of activities that will guide the long-term management of this new pest of Australian cereal crops,” says GRDC General Manager Crop Protection, Dr Ken Young.

 “As part of an integrated approach to future management of RWA, investments are being made in many areas including: determination of aphid biotype; chemical control options (seed treatment and foliar); plant resistance activities (screening, germplasm access); importance of natural enemies; biology and population dynamics; yield loss and thresholds for control and; and various communication and extension activities, including the Find, Identify, Threshold Approach, Enact (FITE) strategy.”

 Dr Young says efficacy trials conducted by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI*) shortly after the pest was identified have provided initial information relating to the management of the pest using foliar-applied insecticides, where aphid numbers have warranted control.

 These trials support the use of either chlorpyrifos or pirimcarb under Emergency Use Permit (APVMA 82792) and have demonstrated effective control with 300 grams of active ingredient per hectare (g ai/ha) chlorpyrifos or 125g ai/ha pirimicarb.

GRDC Southern Manager Grower Services, Craig Ruchs, says “whilst this work has been both timely and critical in guiding the short-term management where aphids have been present in high numbers during winter, the GRDC has recently initiated a broader research program to gain greater insight into the control of RWA using a range of commercially available insecticides”.

* SARDI is a division of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

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