Pest activity has been varied across the state – keep a look out in your region for caterpillars and aphids coming into late winter and spring.
Redlegged earth mites () (RLEM), Halotydeus destructor, are still causing some issues in some areas on the Lower Eyre Peninsula. One paddock treated later after initial appearance of RLEM has experienced higher damage, possibly due to egg lay occurring before treatment (eggs are not susceptible). Insecticides/miticides used at or after sowing should be applied within three weeks of the first appearance of mites, before adults commence laying eggs. Weather lately has been ideal for keeping diamondback moth (), Plutella xylostella, numbers low on canola across the Lower Eyre Peninsula. Sweep net monitoring should commence now initially at monthly intervals, moving to fortnightly as temperatures rise.
Cereals in the Upper South East are now growing well through earlier RLEM damage. High numbers of Bronzed field beetle (), Adelium brevicorne, has been reported heavily damaging wheat at Kongal, with about 3ha loss. Armyworm () have been reported heavily damaging clover in pasture around the Wrattonbully – Comaum area in the South East, about five per square metre. Herringbone caterpillars (), Proteuxoa spp., have been observed on lupins around Keith, but damage is minimal and not causing any issues. Still seeing lucerne flea, Sminthurus viridis, and earth mites generally around the South East, and another egg hatch of slugs on heavy soils has occurred. Slug damage is severe to smaller crops, with some reseeding occurring. Low numbers of Russian wheat aphid (), Diuraphis noxia, and symptoms have been reported in a paddock of barley at Tepko. Incidental and isolated cases of bluegreen aphids, Acryrthosiphon kondoi, have been reported on pasture in the foothills with only minimal damage.
RLEM has been reported damaging cereals at Callington, pasture at Coomandook, and medic at Cambrai. Light Bryobia mite (), Bryobia spp., activity was observed causing mild feeding damage in vetch fodder and hay crops around Paruna in the northern Mallee.
Cutworms (), Agrotis spp., are causing patchy damage to cereals sporadically across Kangaroo Island. Monitoring by checking at night, or looking for larvae in soil at bases of recently damaged plants in patchy areas, should occur. Lucerne flea numbers, particularly on heavy loam/clay areas, on Kangaroo Island are building up. Currently damage is minimal, but likely to increase the near future.
Source of reports: Nigel Myers (Landmark Cummins), Adam Hancock (Elders Naracoorte), Ben Farmer (Landmark Keith), Daniel Pledge (Landmark Kingscote), Sean Matthewson (Dodgshun Medlin Taliem Bend), Steve Hein (Platinum Ag Services Murraylands), George Pedler (Pedler Ag Cummins)