Author Archives: Hugh Brier

Soybean moth active again in 2017 in coastal Queensland

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Soybean moth larva (5 mm) and typical leaf-mining damage

Major soybean moth outbreaks have recently been reported in some coastal Burnett soybean crops, and lesser outbreaks in crops in the Burdekin. Soybean moth is generally a minor soybean pest but major outbreaks have been reported periodically in all soybean growing regions. In extreme cases, crops can be totally defoliated. Feeding damage Larvae feed mostly within the leaves, making distinctive… Read more »

Phytoplasma resurfaces in the summer of 2016/17

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Image 4. Severe phytoplasma symptoms in podding mungbeans at Byee Qld.  Note mass of small green deformed pods, plus normal undamaged pods on the same plant.  Photo by Hugh Brier

Phytoplasma (a specialised bacteria infecting plants) has been widely reported in spring-planted mungbeans from Central Queensland to North Western NSW (Moree and Narrabri) and all areas in between. Symptoms include masses of small deformed leaves, flowers and pods, plants remaining green at harvest, and possibly an increased incidence of puffy pod. While in previous recent summers, moderate to high levels… Read more »

Don’t let lucerne crown borer overwinter in your soybean stubble

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Once again, lucerne crown borer (LCB) (Zygrita diva) has been active in soybeans this season. Worst affected regions were the Northern Rivers and the Liverpool Plains in NSW, but reports were also fielded from the Bundaberg, Fassifern and Darling Downs regions in Queensland. In some of the severely affected crops, over 80% of plants were infested, and up to 70%… Read more »

Bean podborer on the move in mungbeans

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Bean podborer (Maruca vitrata) have been observed in large numbers (>20/m2) in flowering/podding mungbeans planted from January onwards in the Burnett region. They are likely to be present in other coastal/subcoastal regions such as the Burdekin, Callide Valley and the Wide Bay/Burnett (particularly in late-planted crops), and to a lesser extent in the eastern Darling Downs, and Emerald in Central… Read more »

Vegetable leafminer – new leaf-mining fly now in Australia

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Background A new leaf-mining fly, the vegetable leafminer (Liriomyza sativae), has recently been found at Seisia on the western side of the top of Cape York, Queensland. Originally from the Americas, since the 1980s this pest has spread westwards across the Pacific into Asia and has been island hopping across Torres Strait since 2008. Any suspected sightings of the pest should be… Read more »

Etiella in mungbeans and soybeans – do we manage the threat or the pest?

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Medium etiella larva (5 mm), with typical pale green colour and pink stripes.

There is an understandable level of concern about how best to manage etiella (Etiella behrii) in summer mungbean crops following the unexpectedly high etiella infestations (and corresponding seed damage and contamination) in spring mungbean crops on the Downs and in Central Queensland and North Western New South Wales. Responding to the etiella threat without reacting prematurely and creating more pest… Read more »

Soybean moth active in North Queensland

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Soybean moth larvae and typical leaf mining damage

Significant soybean moth activity has recently been reported in some Burdekin soybean crops. Soybean moth is a generally a minor soybean pest but significant outbreaks have been reported periodically in all soybean growing regions. Feeding damage Larvae feed mostly within the leaves, making distinctive pale leaf mines, and often distorting leaves. Soybean moth is present in low numbers in most… Read more »

Lucerne crown borer on the move in soybean in 2015

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Lucerne crown borer in early planted soybean at Bundaberg.
Image by Simon Andreolli

Lucerne crown borer (Zygrita diva) (LCB) is causing severe damage in a number of soybean crops in the Bundaberg region of SE Qld, and on the North Coast region of NSW. In some cases up to 75% of plants are infested and early plant death is evident. Damage seems to be worse in the early (November-planted) crops which were sown… Read more »

Grass blue butterfly damage to navy bean pods

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Close-up of navy bean pod damage caused by grass blue butterfly larvae

The larvae of the grass blue butterfly (Zizina labradus) are normally minor leaf feeding pests, although they can be damaging in seedling crops where they attack terminals and axillary buds. Soybeans are their favoured summer pulse host, but they can also attack other pulses including navy beans.

Etiella alert for mungbean on the Darling Downs, Goondiwindi and Northern NSW growing regions

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Etiella moth - 12 mm long

A significant etiella outbreak was recently reported in pod-filling mungbean in the Moree region of North Western NSW. In this particular crop, it is estimated that etiella larvae have infested pods on 50% of plants. Etiella eggs, at low densities, were also recently observed in an early flowering crop near Bungunya (west of Goondiwindi, Qld).