Canola pest alert

NSW Canola growers may need to do some low-level monitoring, or risk confusing one Canola malady with another, according to Wendy Milne and Peter Hart of the CSIRO's Division of Entomology. Growers who reported on crop establishment pests through Canolacheck found a surprisingly low incidence, compared to Mr Hart's field observations. The reason may be that grower recognition of pests, particularly soil pests, is not yet high.

Among pests which cause economic damage to Canola crops are chafer larvae and false wireworms in the south, and flowering and podding pests such as cabbage and turnip aphids. found in most Canola districts. Growers are urged to watch for wheat root scarab beetle larvae during the crop establishment phase, together with more commonly recognised pests such as redlegged earth mite, cut worms and weevils.

The researchers say there are at least 15 types of pests which damage Canola in NSW. Overseas experience suggests expansion of the crop is likely to attract an even greater variety of pests.