Category Archives: Pests

Fall armyworm infestations through January and February the most severe we’ve seen

Maize and sorghum crops across Queensland are experiencing extreme fall armyworm (FAW) pressure. In Central Queensland in particular, sorghum planted in the typical planting window has been heavily impacted by the very high FAW pressure. Persistent, high-density infestations pose a risk to crops from emergence through to grain fill. In an unwelcome development not observed in previous seasons, large FAW… Read more »

Managing FAW in sorghum – is there a threshold yet?

Late sorghum is susceptible to FAW damage, and potential yield loss, in the vegetative stage. This article discusses how the yield loss happens and how to determine if your crop is at risk. The information below was generated from both sorghum trials being undertaken at the Gatton research station funded by the Queensland Government and GRDC in collaboration with QAAFI… Read more »

Keep an eye out for mice

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There have been reports of mice activity in some crops around the Central Highlands, including grain sorghum, mungbean and cotton. Numbers of house mice (Mus domesticus) are generally low in cropping areas, but plagues can occur when conditions are favourable. Mouse populations have the potential to build rapidly and can do considerable damage in high numbers. Controlling plagues is both… Read more »

Changes to the FAW permit for emamectin

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If you are managing fall armyworm (FAW) in maize, you may have noticed that the permit for Affirm® (emamectin benzoate) (PER93226) had disappeared from the APVMA permits portal. PER93226 was temporarily suspended whilst clarification was sought around withholding period (WHP) and use patterns. While PER93226 is now back on the APVMA permits list, it is important to note it has… Read more »

Fall armyworm situation report for late spring

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Fall armyworm (FAW) moth catches have increased significantly in some regions over the past few weeks (see trapping counts below). It is unclear whether this increase in trap catches is indicative of migration events (perhaps associated with the recent storm activity) or increasing night temperatures that allow for greater movement of moths that may have emerged locally. Very low densities… Read more »

Helicoverpa armigera outbreak in wheat and barley

Many regions in Qld and northern NSW are still experiencing an outbreak of Helicoverpa armigera in wheat. Before the last significant outbreak occurred in 2016, it had been many years since anyone had seen such an event, and while there was a smaller outbreak in 2020, it was not on the scale or severity of this year. In many crops… Read more »

Can you help CSIRO learn more about Rutherglen bugs?

Grain growers and agronomists in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland have a unique opportunity to be involved in a Rutherglen bug (RGB) project to better inform RGB management strategies by either: reporting Rutherglen bug sightings online or signing up for a sampling kit to collect Rutherglen bugs for DNA analysis. A native migratory species, Rutherglen bug causes occasional… Read more »

Faba bean aphid outbreak in northwest NSW

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History of FBA in Australia Faba bean aphid (FBA; Megoura crassicauda) originated from East Asia. First recorded in Australia in October 2016 in Sydney, FBA was confirmed in northwest NSW (Tamworth and Breeza) in September 2017. The aphid outbreak was controlled using Aphidex (500 g pirimicarb/kg). FBA was not observed again until 2020, where it was recorded on faba bean… Read more »

Investigating unusual chlorosis in cotton

Leafhoppers (also known as jassids) rarely cause damage in cotton, so some unusual symptoms (leaf chlorosis that presented a little like cotton bunchy top disease) across several cotton fields in Queensland’s Burnett region last month that appeared to be associated with leafhoppers had both taxonomists and virologists searching for an explanation. Both the damage and leafhoppers present shared many of… Read more »

Larval infestations in peanuts: how to tell which caterpillar is which

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Since early 2020, growers and agronomists have been nervous about the prospect of fall armyworm (FAW; Spodoptera frugiperda) invading their crops. So far, the majority of significant and damaging FAW infestations have been recorded from sweet corn, maize, and sorghum crops, with some isolated outbreaks in horticultural crops such as ginger and capsicum. Occurrences in other crops have been a… Read more »