The Helicoverpa pheromone trapping program has recently concluded for the 2017 Winter/Spring season. The program, run by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for the Northern Grain Growing region, forms part of the national Helicoverpa monitoring network jointly run by cesar, SARDI, and DAFWA. The primary purpose of the trapping network is to detect high moth activity, for both H. punctigera and H. armigera, which serves as a warning for potential egg lays and future larval populations within crops.
Trap counts for both H. armigera and H. punctigera were demonstrably lower than the large counts the monitoring program obtained last year (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Trap localities with 3 years of Helicoverpa pheromone trapping data. 2017 trap catches were particularly low in comparison to moth numbers experienced in 2016. Note the change in scale (number on left axis) of moths trapped at the different locations.
The relatively low trap counts for this season correlate with field reports from agronomists that generally low populations of Helicoverpa larvae were encountered in crops. However, during mid to late October we witnessed a rise in trap catches for H. armigera, particularly in NSW (Figure 2). This moth activity late in the season correlated with reports of high grub pressure in late-planted chickpea crops, and those which started to regrow following rain.
Figure 2: Helicoverpa pheromone trap catches across the Northern Region. Note the sharp increase in moth counts during October for NSW sites.
This trapping program wouldn’t be possible without the work of the trap operators:
- Gail Spargo (DAF) — Emerald
- Scott Loughnan (Avenel) — Muckadilla
- Craig Miller (Landmark) — Roma
- Angus Elder & Jess Mickelborough (MCA Goondiwindi Pty Ltd) — Condamine & Inglestone
- Liz Williams & Emma Teese (DAF) — Kingaroy
- Belinda Chase (Dalby Rural Supplies) — Dalby
- Ed Briton (MCA Goondiwindi Pty Ltd) — Bongeen
- Jamie Street (Street Agricultural Services Pty Ltd) — St. George
- Bec McMillan & Murray Alywin (MCA Goondiwindi Pty Ltd) — Bill Billa
- Jeremy Dawson & Stuart Jeffers (MCA Goondiwindi Pty Ltd) — Mungindi
- Leigh Norton (Elders) — North Star
- Peter Meppem & Greg Rummery (Greg Rummery Consulting) — Rowena & Cryon
- Glen Uebergang (Local Land Services (LLS)) — Inverell
- Bill Manning (LLS) — Breeza
- Neroli Brennan (LLS) – Trangie
For more information or if you would be interested in being involved in next year’s trapping program please contact: [email protected]