Keeping a close eye on pests this cropping season

SARDI entomologists Bill Kimber (left) and Kym Perry discussing this season’s invertebrate pest issues. Photo: SARDI

The weather is not the only unknown factor likely to influence this year’s winter crop yields – invertebrate pests could also eat into tonnages and profits.

To assist growers and their advisers in remaining up-to-date with advice on problematic pests, a valuable source of timely information is again being made available through a program funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Supported by the GRDC’s National Invertebrate Pest Initiative, PestFacts South Australia and Western Victoria is designed to keep subscribers informed about pest-related issues and solutions.

The electronic news service is valuable when pest issues emerge during the growing season and when prompt identification and circulation of advisory information is required, according to GRDC Southern Regional Panel chair Keith Pengilley.

“Each year, growers are confronted with new and recurring pest problems, and it is vital that those issues are recognised and addressed in a timely manner,” Mr Pengilley said.

“By subscribing to PestFacts, reports and field observations on the occurrence and distribution of invertebrate pests across south-eastern Australia can be relayed throughout grain-growing areas.”

With a focus on pests of broad-acre grain crops and pastures, PestFacts SA and Western Victoria is co-ordinated by Bill Kimber and colleagues at the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Entomology Unit.

Mr Kimber says seasonal conditions and pest activity are always different every year, and regular crop monitoring, as well as keeping abreast of regional pest activity, is the best way to be prepared.

SARDI Entomology also offers an insect diagnostic service for PestFacts subscribers. To utilise this service, send at least two intact specimens in a non-crushable container along with host food, collection details, description of crop damage and contact details, to: NIPI diagnostics SARDI Entomology Unit GPO Box 397, Adelaide SA 5001.

And available via the SARDI website is the PestFacts map which is an interactive service that allows subscribers to search and view historical pest report locations. Located at www.sardi.sa.gov.au/pestfacts-map, the map enables users to search by crop, pest or beneficial invertebrate, and time period of interest. The map is updated with each issue of the PestFacts electronic newsletter.

For more information or to subscribe to the PestFacts service, contact PestFacts co-ordinator Bill Kimber on (08) 8303 9536 or bill.kimber@sa.gov.au.

The GRDC also provides an extensive integrated pest management information resource at www.grdc.com.au/pestlinks.

ENDS

For Interviews

Bill Kimber, SARDI

(08) 8303 9536

Contact

Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli

0409 675100

Caption: SARDI entomologists Bill Kimber (left) and Kym Perry discussing this season’s invertebrate pest issues. Photo: SARDI

GRDC Project Code CSE00046

Region South