Cropping

Investment to progress Russian Wheat Aphid management plan

Grain Central, September 6, 2016
RWA on wheat leaf. M Nash Russian Wheat Aphid

Russian Wheat Aphid on a leaf.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) says it has been working behind the scenes to instigate a range of activities to guide the long-term management of the Russian wheat aphid.

First identified in Australia in May this year, Russian wheat aphid (RWA) is now relatively widespread across Victorian and South Australian cereal-growing areas and has recently been detected in southern New South Wales.

GRDC General Manager Crop Protection, Dr Ken Young, said the GRDC has developed an integrated approach to future management of the Russian Wheat Aphid which includes investments in several areas, including:

* determination of aphid biotype;

* chemical control options (seed treatment and foliar);

* plant resistance activities (screening, germplasm access);

* importance of natural enemies;

* biology and population dynamics;

* yield loss and thresholds for control and;

* various communication and extension activities, including the Find, Identify, Threshold Approach, Enact (FITE) strategy.

Efficacy trials conducted by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) shortly after the pest was identified have provided initial information relating to the management of the pest using foliar-applied insecticides, where aphid numbers have warranted control, Dr Young said.

The SARDI trials supported the use of either chlorpyrifos or pirimcarb under Emergency Use Permit (APVMA 82792) and have demonstrated effective control with 300 grams of active ingredient per hectare (g ai/ha) chlorpyrifos or 125g ai/ha pirimicarb, Dr Young said.

GRDC Southern Manager Grower Services, Craig Ruchs, says “whilst this work has been both timely and critical in guiding the short-term management where aphids have been present in high numbers during winter, the GRDC has recently initiated a broader research program to gain greater insight into the control of RWA using a range of commercially available insecticides”.

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