SA grower and adviser input sought for crop pest management research

Author: | Date: 02 Mar 2011

SA grower and adviser input sought for crop pest management research

Grain growers and advisers throughout Australia 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 national survey is being led by the University of Western Australia in collaboration with the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative (NIPI), other research organisations and local farming groups across Australia.

In South Australia the survey is being coordinated by the SA Research and Development Institute Entomology Unit and the Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group with support from the Lower Eyre Agricultural Development Association.

PestFacts SA and Western Victoria co-ordinator Kym Perry (SARDI Entomology) 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.

Mr Perry said this information was extremely important to assess current pest threats and 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 key pest species that 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

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.