The prevalence of insecticide resistance in Australia, particularly in pests affecting grain crops, is increasing at an alarming rate.
This is the conclusion reached in a Status Report on Insecticide Resistance in Australia, which has just been released by the Grains Pest Advisory Committee (GPAC).
GPAC and the National Insecticide Resistance management (NIRM) working group, chaired by cesar Director, Dr Paul Umina, is funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and ran a workshop of experts on this topic in November 2015.
The aims of this Report were to provide a benchmark of current knowledge on insecticide resistance in Australia, advise stakeholders of emerging concerns, and to present recommendations aimed at strategically monitoring and addressing the resistance threat.
According to Dr Garry McDonald of GPAC, the Executive Officer of GPAC, “there are clearly specific opportunities within the grains industry to mitigate the selection pressures behind the substantial and growing problem of insecticide resistance in Australian agriculture”.
For example, substantial economic savings can be had in the medium-long term if growers adopt Resistance Management Strategies (RMS) and Integrated Pest Management principles to reduce selection pressures for resistance. Unfortunately, the uptake of current RMSs appears to be particularly poor, as indicated by the rate of downloads of these strategies.
However, Dr McDonald noted that resistance can only be stemmed by a collaborative, coordinated approach involving agri-chemical, grains, horticultural, cotton and grazing industries, and Commonwealth and State agencies.