Grain Producers SA is encouraging all growers and agronomists to be on the lookout for Russian wheat aphid, detected this week in crops near Tarlee.
Chairman Garry Hansen says it was fortunate the insect was detected early where there are crops emerging across the state and across Australia so producers can put management plans in place.
“Grain growers in South Australia already deal with a number of different kinds of aphids which they control through best practice crop management and agronomy,” he said.
“Like other aphids, when they feed, they introduce toxins into the plant which can cause serious yield losses, as was the case with the outbreak of Beet Western Yellows Virus in canola in 2014 caused by the green peach aphid.
“While it is too early to tell what kind of yield losses may eventuate, early detection is always best when it comes to control of pests in grain crops.
“This pest is widespread in all grain growing regions of the world so there is unlikely to be any export or market issues because of it. It is just another pest of grain crops that growers will now be on the lookout for.”
Mr Hansen said the detection highlighted the importance of well-funded and resourced biosecurity programs.
“The quick detection shows the biosecurity system in place is working. The State Government – through Biosecurity SA – and Plant Health Australia would be fully aware of the situation and will be doing an assessment to determine the extent of the problem and to decide whether their focus will be eradication or containment.
“Growers pay a levy on their grain production that helps fund Plant Health Australia and associated biosecurity programs to ensure we have a rapid response to pest and disease incursions.”
For more information on the aphid, visit the PIRSA website
Garry Hansen, Chairman, Grain Producers SA, 0427 390 626