Hot off the press: latest ute guide Lucerne Pests and Disorders by Bernie Reppel

IT WON'T be unusual to see a farmer squatting in a paddock - squinting, like Sherlock Holmes, through a hand lens at some minute object - once the latest grains industry Ute Guide gets into circulation.

More than 180 colour photographs illustrate the various pests and disorders that plague lucerne crops around Australia, with many shown at different stages of development.

This latest 100-page effort was produced by Queensland's Department of Primary Industries for the national TOPCROP series.

Production coordinator, Michael Cahill, says the guide has drawn on the expertise of dozens of scientists, with direct development by a team comprising QDPI pasture agronomists David Lloyd and Moira English, lucerne breeder Rex Williams, pasture extension specialist Warren McDonald from NSW Agriculture and Geoff Auricht, leader of the pastures group with SA's Research and Development Institute," Mr Cahill said.

The Ute Guide, Lucerne Pests and Disorders, covers insect pests - including a section on those that attack seed crops of lucerne - beneficial insects, porcellionids (pillbugs and slaters), mites, snails, nematodes, diseases, environmental disorders, nutrition deficiencies, manganese toxicity, soil acidity and salinity and herbicide injury (by herbicide group).

The guide at $20 (including GST) plus postage is available from:

QDPI Information Centre, PO Box 102, Toowoomba Qld 4350 074688 1415; fax 07 4688 1416

Region North