DAS00160 - DAS00160 - BA Biology and management of snails and slugs in grain crops

Project Summary

Project Start Date
1 July 2016
Project End Date
30 June 2019
Supervisor Name
Michael Nash
Organisation
SA Research and Development Institute
Region
South, West
Summary

Several exotic snail and slug species of European-Mediterranean origin have established in Australia and become significant pests of grain crops. Snails cause significant economic losses through yield loss from feeding damage, field control costs, additional harvest costs, grain value loss and receival rejection and threaten market access. Slugs cause significant losses from feeding damage, especially at crop establishment, and from costs of re-sowing and field control.

This project will focus on two of the four snail and one of the three slug species considered to be the most threatening species in Australia with the least amount of knowledge regarding their biology and ecology: common white snail, Cernuella virgata (Da Costa), small pointed snail, Prietocella barbara (L.), and the black keeled slug Milax gagates (Milacidae). The key objective of this project is to provide information on the ecology and biology to improve growers’ capacity to effectively and economically manage snails and slugs in their production systems. This project will research fundamental information on environmental triggers for slug and snail activity. The research will be conducted at the regional level, building local capacity to understand the context in which snail and slug outbreaks occur, thus ensuring timely implementation management for effective control. Monitoring of regional environmental conditions and field conditions combined with a greater understanding of population dynamics will underpin predicting high risk situations.

This project will provide regional information on the environmental triggers for slug and snail activity, to enable growers to apply controls in a timely manner to maximise efficacy of controls. Research outcomes on snail and slug biology and ecology will be provided to industry through annual reports and a final technical report, through Regional Cropping Solutions Networks. Outcomes will be measured by uptake of the information and inclusion in regional management guidelines delivered by GRDC.

Published Date
14 February 2018
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