Don't let the bugs bite into cropping profits this season

Author: | Date: 19 Jun 2012

SARDI entomologist Kym Perry identifying crop insects under a microscope

Don’t let the bugs bite into cropping profits this season

Recent rainfall throughout parts of South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales has been welcomed by grain growers – but there is a downside.

Damp conditions have stimulated activity in a range of invertebrate pest species which can pose a threat to emerging and establishing crops if left unchecked.

Entomology experts, with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), are encouraging grain growers and their advisers to maintain a close watch on young crops over the coming weeks.

GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair David Shannon says growers and advisers are being well supported with information and resources during this critical phase of crop growth.

“One of those services is the PestFacts newsletters which are designed to keep grain growers and advisers informed about invertebrate pest-related issues and solutions,” Mr Shannon said.

“Supported by the GRDC’s National Invertebrate Pest Initiative, PestFacts is a free newsletter service that is of particular value when pest issues emerge during the winter growing season and when prompt identification is required and advisory information circulated.

“Being informed and alerted by signing up to the PestFacts service should be a priority for growers and advisers who aren’t already subscribers,” Mr Shannon said.

Two newsletter services operate in the southern cropping region: PestFacts SA and Western Victoria, which is co-ordinated by researchers from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Entomology Unit; and PestFacts south-eastern (Victoria and NSW) which is produced by cesar.

The PestFacts newsletters are sent directly to subscribers via e-mail. This service is produced on an ‘as-needed’ basis during the winter growing season in response to pest observations and reports.

“Subscriber support and feedback is essential to the success of PestFacts,” Mr Shannon said.

“I encourage grains industry personnel to sign up to either or both of the two services and to report pest sightings and outbreaks so that emerging issues in crops and pastures are quickly recognised and addressed.”

A free crop insect identification service is also available to PestFacts SA and Western Victoria subscribers.

For more information about PestFacts SA and Western Victoria, contact Kym Perry on (08) 8303 9370.

For more information about PestFacts south-eastern, contact Dr Paul Umina on (03) 9349 4723 or

The GRDC also provides an extensive integrated pest management information resource at


Caption: Growers and advisers are encouraged to contact SARDI entomologist Kym Perry (pictured identifying crop insects) and cesar’s Dr Paul Umina with reports of pest activity and damage.

GRDC Project Code: CSE00046

Media releases and other media products can be found at  

For more information: Kym Perry, SARDI
(08) 8303 9370

Dr Paul Umina, cesar
(03) 9349 4723

Contact: Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

GRDC Project Code CSE00046