Suspect insecticide resistance? Put earth mites to the test

Date: 30 Aug 2016

Growers and advisers in the southern cropping region can access a service to determine whether redlegged earth mite (RLEM) populations within their crops are resistant to insecticides.

Photo: A Weeks, cesar

Growers and advisers in the southern cropping region can access a service to determine whether redlegged earth mite (RLEM) populations within their paddocks are resistant to insecticides. Knowing the resistance status of RLEM populations will assist growers in implementing appropriate and effective insect management strategies.

The RLEM insecticide-resistance testing service is being made available to growers and their advisers through a national Grains Research and Development Corporation-funded project led by the University of Melbourne in collaboration with cesar, CSIRO and the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia.

Any grower or adviser experiencing a chemical control failure involving RLEM, or suspecting issues with insecticide resistance, are encouraged to contact cesar and have specimens tested. Dr James Maino from cesar says resistance to synthetic pyrethroids (SPs) is already confirmed in a large number of populations of RLEM across the Western Australian grain belt, while some populations in WA also have resistance to organophosphates (OPs). “As yet, there are no confirmed cases of resistance in south-eastern Australia,” Dr Maino said. “However, growers must be vigilant because genetic studies demonstrate a genetic flow between the eastern and western regions of Australia.”

Recent research at the University of Melbourne has revealed resistance to SPs has evolved on more than one occasion in WA, demonstrating the potential for resistance to develop independently in other states.

“One of the major challenges the Australian grains industry is facing is the reliance on only three registered chemical groups to control RLEM – neonicotinoids as a seed dressing, and SPs and OPs as foliar insecticides,” Dr Maino says. “Hence, growers are limited in their options to rotate different chemical classes, though it is imperative that they do so.”

For more information about how to access the testing service, funded by the research and development levy paid by growers, please contact Dr James Maino at cesar by phoning 03 9349 4723 or emailing jmaino@cesaraustralia.com.

Interviews

Dr James Maino, cesar
03 9349 4723

Contact

Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
0409 675100 

Region South