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Cabbage aphids

Agronomist, Kate Burke (John Stuchbery & Associates), reports finding cabbage aphids (Brevicoryne brassicae) in a mid-flowering canola crop west of Ouyen, in the Victorian Mallee district. At this stage the crop won’t be sprayed however it will be monitored closely over the coming weeks as it can be difficult to predict how quickly aphid populations change over time. Cabbage aphids have also been reported in canola crops at Young and Dubbo, in the South West Slopes and Central West Slopes and Plains districts of New South Wales respectively.

Cabbage aphids grow up to 3 mm in length, with a dull grey-green body. Infestations start when winged aphids fly into the crop from autumn weeds. These give rise to dense colonies, which appear bluish-grey and are covered with a fine, whitish powder. Cabbage aphids suck sap and can reduce yields when numbers are high. A large amount of sugary solution is often secreted. This can sometimes lead to black sooty mould, thereby reducing the plants’ ability to photosynthesize and decreasing plant growth. Canola is particularly susceptible to aphid damage during bud formation through to late flowering.

Click here for images of cabbage aphids.

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