Young crops targeted by insect pests

Author: | Date: 03 Jun 2015

Weevils are among the invertebrate pests being reported to the PestFacts South Australia electronic news service which is supported by the GRDC. Photo: K Perry, SARDI

South Australian grain growers are advised to pay close attention to emerging crops which could be targeted by crop establishment pests over the coming weeks.

While decent autumn rains have been welcomed by growers in many parts of the State, they have also heralded the arrival of numerous invertebrate pests, according to the PestFacts South Australia electronic news service which is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Favourable conditions have triggered hatching of various earth mite species as well as lucerne flea, so now is the time to check young crops to assess the need for post-emergent treatments.

Other pests to look out for are black Portuguese millipedes, European earwigs, slaters, weevils, aphids, slugs and snails.

To assist growers and their advisers in remaining up to date with advice on these problematic pests and others, PestFacts SA is a valuable source of timely information being made available in 2015 through the GRDC-funded National Pest Information Service (NPIS).

The electronic news service is of real value 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 the free PestFacts service, reports, field observations, projections and the latest research on the occurrence, distribution and management of invertebrate pests can be relayed throughout grain-growing areas.”

With a focus on pests of broad-acre grain crops and pastures in SA and adjacent regions, PestFacts SA is co-ordinated by Kym Perry and Bill Kimber, entomologists with the SA Research and Development Institute which is a division of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

The PestFacts service has been enhanced for the 2015 season in a number of ways, including the use of links to a new informative PestNotes series presented in collaboration with entomologists from cesar in Victoria. PestNotes will offer the best available information and images on more than 50 invertebrate pests.

A new Twitter service has also been set up to provide timely information, alerts and advice on invertebrate pest and beneficial activity in broadacre crops during the winter season. Growers and advisers can follow PestFacts SA on Twitter at @PestFactsSARDI.

Available via the PIRSA website is the PestFacts map, an interactive service that allows subscribers to search and view recent and historical pest report locations across south-eastern Australia.

In the first edition of PestFacts SA for the 2015 cropping season, subscribers are not only brought up to date with recent pest reports, but they are also provided with some tips on post-emergence monitoring and diagnosing pest problems.

For more information, to subscribe to PestFacts or to report pest activity, contact the co-ordinators via or (08) 8303 9536.

The GRDC offers numerous publications, including guides and fact sheets, to assist growers and advisers with the identification and management of cropping pests. A complete listing of GRDC publications is available at Bookshop.

To further assist with pest and beneficial insect identification, the GRDC has produced an Insect ID: The Ute Guide app.

For information on integrated pest management, go to the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative (NIPI) website, as well as the IPM Guidelines for Grains website.

Media Interviews

Kym Perry, SARDI
0421 788 357


Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100

GRDC Project Code DAQ00201

Region South