Hugh Brier, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries senior entomologist based at Kingaroy, has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to the summer grains industries with an award at the recent Australian Summer Grains Conference. Hugh has dedicated his career with DAF to supporting the grains industries and it is fantastic to see this contribution again acknowledged by industry (Hugh was awarded the GRDC’s Northern Region Seed of Light in 2014).
Hugh’s career began with the department in 1974. After initially focusing on peanut white grubs and helicoverpa during the 1980s, his research into podsucking bug thresholds in soybeans in the 1990s culminated in the conferral of a Masters degree from The University of Queensland.
More recently he has pursued the development of economic thresholds for etiella, helicoverpa, mirids, and podsucking bugs in mungbeans, and for etiella and mirids in soybeans.
His passion for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) underpinned the provision of IPM courses for coastal soybean growers and he has played a key role in the development of Queensland’s coastal soybean industry.
He has worked closely with industry groups and produced numerous publications to assist growers and agronomists in correctly identifying and managing the multitude of possible insect pests in pulses, including a summer pulses chapter in the 2007 Pests of Field Crops and Pasture book (PT Bailey ed.), IPM workshop manuals and agronomist accreditation manuals, and more recently the Good Bug Bad Bug book.
Hugh said all entomological research, development and extension is very labor intensive and acknowledged the invaluable support from his research assistants and colleagues, and from the dedicated farmhand staff at the J. Bjelke-Petersen Research Station at Kingaroy.