Several exotic snail and slug species of European origin have established in Australian cropping regions and become significant pests of grain crops. Slugs and snails attack seedling crops, resulting in plant damage and yield impacts and losses associated with the costs of resowing and paddock control.
Snails, additionally, climb crop plants in spring and contaminate the grain harvest, creating significant harvest costs (harvester modifications, damage to machinery, post-harvest grain cleaning) and losses (grain value downgrades, receival rejections) for affected growers, and pose serious market access risks for the industry.
Mollusc management consists of an integrated, year-round approach comprising cultural, mechanical, and chemical (baiting) methods.
These measures include: physical control methods prior to crop sowing (e.g. stubble burning, slashing, rolling, cabling and grazing), chemical control methods prior to crop harvest (e.g. baiting in the paddock with approved chemicals) and physical control methods at or after harvest (e.g. use of a modified header, grain cleaning). Even when performed exceptionally well, these management strategies are not reducing mollusc pressures significantly. The development of improved management tactics for snails and slugs remains a priority to improve growers’ profitability and ensure Australia’s market access is maintained.
Details of the EOI can be found on the GRDC website.
The closing date for applications is 5pm AEST, Tuesday 26 October 2021.