Category Archives: Crops

Keep a lookout for phytoplasma in mungbeans and other summer legumes

‘Little pod symptoms’:  Small, malformed and green pods that never reach harvest maturity.

Last summer saw unprecedented levels of phytoplasma in summer pulses/legumes (including chickpeas, mungbeans and pigeon peas) in all cropping regions in eastern and northern Australia from the Ord Irrigation area (WA), Burdekin/Atherton Tablelands (NQ), to central NSW. The most likely insect vector is the brown leafhopper Orosius orientalis, which has been detected in recent (2017) spring crops. While plantings of… Read more »

Insect pest management in sorghum – a refresher

Sorghum head that has not sustained RGB damage during early grain fill, but is now infested with adults; showing full grain and no spotting of seed

Sorghum is most susceptible to crop loss from insect pests during flowering and grain fill, and this article deals mostly with these species (sorghum midge, helicoverpa and Rutherglen bug). However, some years there may be pest infestations in vegetative sorghum. Vegetative sorghum During the vegetative stages you may see a few armyworm or helicoverpa larvae causing shot-holes in the leaves,… Read more »

Rutherglen bug damage in mungbeans

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RGB-closeup

Although typically only in low numbers in the Northern Grains region, Rutherglen bugs (RGB; Nysius vinitor) were observed at very high densities (e.g. 50 RGB per pod) in many crops last year. A glasshouse study was conducted to determine at what plant stage mungbeans were most susceptible to RGB damage, in terms of both yield and seed quality. To do… Read more »

New aphid found in faba beans

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megoura

Megoura crassicauda has been found in parts of north-east and central New South Wales (Sydney, Tamworth, and Breeza). The species originated in north-east Asia, and is closely related to the vetch aphid (Megoura viciae), found in Europe, Ethiopia and North America. Its host range is mostly limited to Vicia species – vetches, faba or broad beans, and may extend to… Read more »

Helicoverpa activity and management in chickpeas

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chick blog nov2010

Helicoverpa are the primary insect pest of chickpeas. Beneficial insects that are present in many crops do not thrive in chickpeas, so successful helicoverpa management relies heavily on monitoring and identification, appropriately timing control to crop stage, and using the recommended thresholds. Monitoring involves regular in-field checking with a beat sheet. Additionally, moth numbers can be monitored using pheromone traps… Read more »

Identifying insect pests in stored grain

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Winter—time to visit your storages As temperatures drop and hopefully winter crop planting is completed, a little time invested around your storage facility will pay dividends. During our coldest months storage pests are not breeding rapidly and are less likely to fly. They are quietly sitting in grain residues in empty silos, or keeping warm in silos still holding grain…. Read more »

Whitefly in establishing grain crops

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SLW_fababeans17_AngusBoileau_Moree

This summer silverleaf whitefly (SLW) populations have been extremely high in many cotton crops, particularly in NSW. As these crops are defoliated, large numbers of SLW are moving out of the cotton into surrounding vegetation, including emerging grain crops. Whilst the number of SLW adults landing in seedling canola, wheat, faba beans and cereals can look dramatic, previous experience has… Read more »

Being prepared for Russian wheat aphid in the Northern grains region

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The spread of Russian wheat aphid (RWA) (Diuraphis noxia) in the Northern grains region is considered inevitable. When it might be detected in wheat and barley is less clear as the key drivers of its spread are not well understood in Australia. Wind is likely to play a part in moving winged aphids from south to north. The most northerly… Read more »

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 »