Insecticide Resistance, Integrated pest management

Help us to build an online insecticide resistance resource platform

What would you like to see on an online platform of insecticide resistance information and resources?

Insecticide resistance management is increasingly becoming front of mind for primary producers. In 2021, a new website will bring together insecticide resistance information and management resources from across the Australian grains industry. This online portal is being developed as part of the Australian Grains Pest Innovation Program (AGPIP).

The site will house information on resistance status for insect grain pests, latest research updates and management advice for growers.

In developing a first iteration of this website that reflects the needs of the grains community, the project team is asking for feedback from growers, agronomists and other grain industry professionals on insecticide resistance risk management priorities and resource needs.

So, to give your thoughts and help in building an insecticide resistance platform that will best service you, complete this quick survey that the project team have developed.

Why do we care about insecticide resistance?

Insecticide resistance is a growing problem for the Australian grains industry. Reliance on select number of chemical options for management of key insect grain pests has created strong selection pressure that drives the evolution of resistance.

Currently, four major grain pests are known to have widespread resistance to multiple insecticides: cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera), diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella), green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) and redlegged earth mite (Halotydeus destructor).

Several other minor grain pests, including silverleaf whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), two spotted mite(Tetranychus urticae), western flower thrips(Frankliniella occidentalis) and onion thrips(Thrips tabaci), have also recorded resistance to insecticides in Australia.

The evolution of resistance in pest species not only reduces the number of effective insecticide options available, it places additional selection pressure on the remaining chemical actives as growers begin to utilise these alternative insecticides more regularly.

Furthermore, modelling work, undertaken by Cesar Australia as part of a GRDC integrated pest management investment for the southern region, has identified specific pests at high risk of evolving future resistances. Pests on this list include species that are already known to exhibit resistance as well as additional key grain pests that currently are not known to be resistant to any chemical options.

The evolution of further resistance in grain insect pests could prove both costly and complex for growers’ pest management regimes.

Luckily, a significant amount of research on insecticide resistance in key grain pests has been undertaken in the last few years and resources have been developed to help grain growers and their advisors manage risks of resistance in their crops.

Insecticide Resistance Management Strategies (IRMSs) have been developed for the four main resistant grain pests as well as a number of best practice management guides that provide information on applying integrated pest management practices in the field, including for diamondback moth, green peach aphid and redlegged earth mite.

What can we expect on this insecticide resistance resource platform?

The new online platform being developed under AGPIP will provide a central portal through which existing resources can be accessed as well as provide access to new decision-aid tools for management of insecticide resistance in grains.

The platform will host up-to-date information on known resistant pests, maps that display known resistances across Australia, resources on beneficial insect stewardship (including information on insecticide toxicities for different natural enemy species) and access to resistance management resources.

Most important is making sure that the platform matches the information and resource needs of growers, advisors and others in the grains industry – and this is where you come in!

We want to know what you would most like to see on a platform. So, click on this survey link and let us know your thoughts!


Australian Grains Pest Innovation Program (AGPIP) is a collaboration between the Pest & Environmental Adaption Research Group at the University of Melbourne and Cesar Australia. The program is a co-investment by the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the University of Melbourne, together with in-kind contributions from all program partners.

Cover image: Photo by Andrew Weeks, Cesar Australia

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