Start managing Russian wheat aphids

APHID MANAGEMENT: Paul Angus, leading Russian wheat aphid researcher Frank Peairs and GRDC southern regional grower services manager Craig Ruchs.

APHID MANAGEMENT: Paul Angus, leading Russian wheat aphid researcher Frank Peairs and GRDC southern regional grower services manager Craig Ruchs.

Grain growers throughout South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania are being advised to employ a tactical and considered approach to management of Russian wheat aphid (RWA) this year.

Cropping pest experts agree that RWA – first detected in south-eastern Australia in 2016 – is likely to be a manageable pest if growers implement a combination of effective cultural, chemical and natural controls.

Management of RWA this year and beyond is the focus of several Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) forums currently being held in South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales to equip growers and their advisers with the latest RWA research insights and practical management advice ahead of the 2017 cropping season.

The interactive forums – featuring one of the world’s leading RWA research authorities, Dr Frank Peairs from Colorado State University in the United States – are delivering information on key learning from last year’s incursion and identifying and discussing knowledge gaps that still remain, particularly given the unusually heavy winter and spring rainfall events that curtailed population build-up and yield losses in 2016.

GRDC southern regional grower services manager Craig Ruchs said the forums were important in facilitating two-way dialogue between the research sector and growers and their advisers who had been sharing their valuable observations and experiences of dealing with RWA for the first time last year.

Mr Ruchs said Dr Peairs had shared his account of what had occurred in Colorado over the past three decades.

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