Grains Research and Development

Date: 02.03.2011

NSW grower input sought for crop pest management research

NSW grower input sought for crop pest management research

Grain growers and advisers throughout New South Wales are being called upon to assist in the development of more sustainable solutions for the management of crop insect pests.

Funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) on behalf of growers and the Australian Government, the research project involves a survey of farmers and advisers to identify the major insect pests of grain crops and to better understand the tools and strategies used to manage these pests.

The survey is being led by the University of Western Australia (UWA) in collaboration with the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative, other research organisations and local farming groups across Australia.

NSW Industry & Investment research entomologist Dr Joanne Holloway said the results of the survey would help researchers and the broader industry to understand what Australian growers do to manage insect pests in their grain crops, and their attitudes towards pest management.

Dr Holloway, who is based at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, said this information was important for assessment of current pest threats, management capability and to enable tailoring of research, workshops and extension materials that would lead to improved practice and higher yields.

The survey is part of a larger GRDC-funded project aimed at developing and promoting integrated pest management (IPM) in grains production across Australia. The project includes experimental/demonstration trials being conducted around the country to test an on-farm IPM approach in a canola-wheat rotation.

The results of the voluntary survey will be used to:

• Refine research objectives on key pest species to develop better management tools for farmers
• Design farm trials that focus on effective and sustainable management practices for these key pest species which have genuine applicability in current farming practices
• Develop training materials and extension publications for farmers that address current knowledge gaps
• Benchmark current practice relating to pest management for use in later assessment of adoption of innovative practices

In NSW, the survey is being co-ordinated and supported by Joanne Holloway (NSW I&I), Sarina MacFadyen (CSIRO), Phil Bowden (NSW I&I), FarmLink Research, Junee Reefs TopCrop Group, Cootamundra Consultants and Riverine Plains Inc.

The survey, which will take about 30 minutes to complete, can be accessed online via www.surveygizmo.com/s3/348554/IPM-benchmarking-survey.

Growers and advisers seeking more information about the survey can email helen.spafford@uwa.edu.au or laura.fagan@uwa.edu.au.

Further information on integrated pest management is available from the GRDC via www.grdc.com.au/pestlinks.