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Native budworm moths are present in major cropping regions of Victoria and southern NSW

Native budworm moth activity has been low – but they are not absent.

It has been one month since our network of agronomists and growers set up their native budworm (Helicoverpa punctigera) moth traps in Victoria and southern NSW. So far, the data reveals that moth activity has been relatively low (table 1). A catch from last week in Ouyen (Victorian Mallee) has been the biggest to date this season, with ~40 native budworm moths caught. This catch was revealed in a Trapview automated pest monitoring system, which we are trialing alongside conventional green funnel traps thanks to ADAMA Australia. Traps in South Australia operated by SARDI have caught much larger numbers (600 in one trap!) , however at this stage it is unknown if south-eastern Australia will experience flights of the same magnitude – this will be influenced by the occurrence of warm north-westerly winds, and behavior of high and low troughs above south-east Australia over the coming weeks.

Table 1. Number of native budworm moths caught in pheromone traps. **Inidcates use of Trapview automated pest monitoring system.


Although numbers have been low to date, it’s important to note that moths have been caught in most major cropping areas of Victoria and southern NSW. The use of pheromone traps is to provide an early warning of moth arrival and abundance. Low moth numbers don’t necessarily translate to a low caterpillar burden. That is, the very presence of moths means that crops are still at risk of damage by ensuing native budworm caterpillar populations. So, keep your sweep nets handy during spring. 

For more information on native budworm, including monitoring and threshold guidelines, visit out comprehensive PestNote.


Native budworm moths caught in Trapview automated monitoring system in Ouyen. cesar


Many thanks to the coordinators and counters participating in our moth trap program, including:  

Brad Bennett, AGRIvision (Mallee, VIC)

Adam Dellwo, Elders (Riverina, NSW)

Rob Fox, AGRIvision (Wimmera, VIC)

Bill Gardner (Wimmera VIC)

Sarah Groat, Ag Grow Agronomy and Research (Riverina, NSW)

Barry Haskins, Ag Grow Agronomy and Research (Riverina, NSW)

Shayn Healey, Crop-Rite (Mallee, VIC)

George Hepburn, Tylers Hardware and Rural Supplies (Wimmera, VIC)

Damian Jones, Irrigated Cropping Council (Mallee, VIC)

Annieka Paridaen, Premier Ag Consultancy Group (South West, VIC)

Andrew Rice, ASPIRE agri (Central West Slopes & Plains, NSW)

David White, Delta Agribusiness (Riverina, NSW)

Rachel Whitworth, Ag Grow Agronomy and Research (Riverina, NSW)

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