Russian wheat aphid found in NSW, Department of Primary Industries confirms

17.08.2016

THE first Russian wheat aphid has been found in NSW.

The new foreign pest was first found in South Australia in May, and has since been detected across Victoria including in the Wimmera and Mallee and as far east as Echuca.

NSW Department of Primary Industries yesterday confirmed the aphids had been found in a wheat crop near border-town Barham in Southern NSW.

NSW DPI plant biosecurity director Satendra Kumar said a national management approach, was developed when the pest was first detected, and the aphid had been “deemed as non-eradicable by the National Biosecurity Management Group”.

“Grain growers should be on the lookout for the pest and consider their management options,” Dr Kumar said.

“Grain growers are encouraged to contact their agronomist or seek advice from NSW DPI, Local Land Services or refer to the GRDC (Grains Research & Development Corporation) website for information on how to manage the pest in cereal crops.

Pest experts told The Weekly Times the Russian aphid could cause up to 100 per cent losses in barley and 80 per cent losses in wheat.

An emergency use permit for specific chemicals to control the aphid, has been issued by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

Dr Kumar said if the growers suspected they had the Russian wheat aphid they should take a sample for identification, and urged them to limit its spread.

“To limit the spread of the pests and diseases hygiene is important,” he said.

“It is important to put best practice biosecurity measures into place to reduce the risk of transportation clothing, footwear, vehicles and machinery when moving between paddocks and farm.”

For more information regarding Russian wheat aphid, what tips for on-farm hygiene practices, see the Agriculture Victoria, NSW DPI and Plant Health Australia websites.


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