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Keep an eye on Russian wheat aphid this spring

Russian wheat aphid is making its presence felt in many cropping districts. Monitoring is essential as temperatures warm.

While reports this winter-cropping season indicate that the distribution of Russian wheat aphid (RWA, Diuraphis noxia) has remained largely constant in Victoria and NSW since earlier this year, it’s likely that their presence is becoming more prevalent in areas of know distribution. To recap, in Victoria, RWA has been recorded in the Mallee, Wimmera, Central, North Central and North East regions. In NSW, the known distribution appears limited to the Riverina and the Central West Slopes & Plains. 

Field reports suggest that breeding of RWA has continued slowly over winter. As we head towards spring, it will be important to once again keep an eye out for growing aphid populations. Population growth has begun to escalate with warming temperatures. As crops enter the high-risk period for yield loss (early booting to soft dough), it is recommended growers check crops for infestation levels and continuing to monitor throughout spring.

A GRDC best practice management manual 'The Russian Wheat Aphid: Tactics for Future Controlhas been developed for growers and advisors in southern regions by AgCommunicators, together with cesar, SARDI and CSIRO entomologists. We encourage those involved in broadacre crops and pasture production to have a read of this comprehensive manual for guidance in taking an integrated approach to RWA management.


Field reports

Andrew McMahen – Landmark (Mallee, VIC)

Mark Thompson – Advanced Ag (Northern Country, VIC)

Greg Toomey – Landmark (Northern Country, VIC)

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