Author Archives: Hugh Brier

Soybean aphids on the move in coastal soybeans

Significant soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) populations have now been observed in many coastal soybean crops. Once the crop approaches late flowering, a spray decision must be made as later aphid infestations can severely delay harvest maturity. Careful monitoring is required to determine if populations are trending upwards to and beyond threshold levels, or if the aphids are being contained by… Read more »

Peanut mites showing up in Burnett peanut crops

Peanut mite (Paraplonobia sp.) outbreaks have been widely reported in Burnett peanut crops from Kingaroy to Coulston Lakes. This is not surprising as these mites are favoured by prolonged hot dry weather as has been experienced lately. The first sign that these mites are present are plants with pale leaves. On closer inspection, fine feeding stipples are evident on the… Read more »

Major grass blue butterfly and soybean aphid outbreaks threaten coastal soybeans in SE Qld

A major outbreak of grass blue butterfly (GBB) (Zizina labradus) in late vegetative and flowering soybeans has been reported in the Maryborough/Hervey Bay region. Some crops inspected had 10-12 GBB larvae per square metre with many plants denuded of buds and flowers. Other crops had less damage and fewer larvae (4-5 per square metre), but had 5 or more adult butterflies… Read more »

Hot weather heats up pest activity

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A common misconception is that, like humans, pests become more lethargic in hot weather. Unfortunately, the opposite is true—in most cases warmer weather actually speeds up pest growth with pests reaching a damaging size and pest populations increasing more quickly. Also, hot weather is often associated with little or no rain. And rain, particularly heavy rain, can suppress aphid, mite… Read more »

Phytoplasma in mungbeans—Update: early March 2018

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Phytoplama has been reported in second flower flushes in mungbeans, and also in harvested mungbean regrowth! So far the overall incidence of phytoplasma has been lower than this time last year, but growers and consultants are urged to keep monitoring their crops for the first symptoms of this disease, and to report any outbreaks. Many January-planted mungbean crops are at… Read more »

Soybean stem fly on the move in soybeans in the Northern Rivers NSW

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UPDATE: Crop progress report (March 2018) Recent photos of the crop where a stem fly infestation was reported in early February show signs of stem fly pupation, but no crop stress symptoms (i.e. no yellow and dying leaves), indicating that managing the outbreak when it was first detected would have been a waste of time and money (assuming there will… Read more »

Keep a lookout for phytoplasma in mungbeans and other summer legumes

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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 »

Soybean moth active again in 2017 in coastal Queensland

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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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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 »