Growers to gain the upper hand in pest challenge

Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 08 Apr 2014

Grain growers have a new weapon in the war against insect pests with the launch of a comprehensive information website ‘IPM Guidelines for Grains’.

Helicoverpa caterpillar on a stalk of wheat
(photo courtesy of DAFF)

The website,, offers detailed information and advice on the management of major insect pests within Australia’s major grain crops including specific recommendations for each stage of crop development.

Created by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) Entomology team in conjunction with collaborators in all grain growing regions of Australia, the website will equip growers and advisors with the latest industry advice to minimise production loss and implement effective, long-term pest management practices on a whole-of-farm basis.

DAFF Senior Extension officer, Entomology, Kate Charleston, said the IPM Guidelines took a problem-solving approach as opposed to being a rigid set of management guidelines, drawing on all available pest management tools to tailor recommendations according to crop type, growth stage and location.

“This website provides easy-to-find information that you are unlikely to find on any other pest management website,” Ms Charleston said.

“Essentially what we have done is collected all the known information about integrated pest management in grains, including some novel practices, and applied this to specific pests and crops.

“Pest pages focus on man­age­ment tac­tics for each crop stage includ­ing ‘off sea­son’ oper­a­tions and plan­ning, while in the crop pages we have provided risk tables to address questions such as ‘when is the crop most at risk from pests’; ‘is there something I can do to minimise pest pressure’; or ‘can certain environmental conditions make the crop more susceptible to certain pests’?”

Hugh Brier explaining the benefits of insect monitoring

Hugh Brier explaining the benefits of insect monitoring.

In addition to targeted IPM recommendations, the website contains an exten­sive col­lec­tion of sup­port­ing mate­r­ial that is avail­able both on the site and via exter­nal links, as well as a series of images to help users identify individual pest species.

The website is funded by the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative (NIPI), which is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), and brings together scientists from state government departments, universities, farmer groups and CSIRO to address pest management issues in the Australian grains industry.

Contact Details

Kate Charleston, DAFF Senior Extension Officer, Entomology
07 4688 1314; 0428 323 408

GRDC Project Code CSE00054

Region North