Grains Research and Development

Date: 04.01.2011

Exotic pest and disease reminder

EXOTIC PEST AND DISEASE REMINDER: Grain growers throughout the southern cropping region are being called on to assist in surveillance for exotic pest and disease threats this summer. South Australia’s Grains Biosecurity Officer, Judy Bellati, reminds growers to monitor their grain stored on farm for insect pests and to be mindful of the fact that resistance is increasing to many of the chemicals being used to control grain insects. In particular, resistance to phosphine is of concern, caused by its use in unsealed storages. Growers should also be on the lookout for any unusual pests or diseases, particularly Khapra beetle and Karnal bunt which are considered high priority biosecurity exotic threats to the grains industry. “Pests and diseases such as these could have a significant impact on market access and stored grain quality if they were to establish in Australia,” says Ms Bellati. “It is vital that growers and farm advisers promptly report any unusual pests and disease symptoms in grain to the relevant authorities, including the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.” Details on who to call and what do to are also contained in the Grains Farm Biosecurity Manual developed by the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program which is a collaboration of Plant Health Australia and the Grains Producers Australia. To obtain a copy of the Grains Farm Biosecurity Manual or to contact a Grains Biosecurity Officer, visit www.planthealthaustralia.com.au/biosecurity/grains. The manual and the work of the Grains Farm Biosecurity Program is complemented by Grains Research and Development Corporation’s investment – on behalf of growers and the Australian Government – in a number of biosecurity strategies to protect the interests of the Australian grains industry and the nation as a whole. Further information about GRDC’s investment in biosecurity and other resources is available via www.grdc.com.au/biosecuritylinks. Further information on grain storage issues can be found on the GRDC’s dedicated on-line Stored Grain Information Hub, accessible via www.storedgrain.com.au.