19 April 2012
Leading agricultural science companies IPM Technologies Pty Ltd, Bayer CropScience, Sumitomo Chemical Australia and Biological Services have worked closely with grower Anthony Agosta to demonstrate an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy to combat diamondback moth in head-forming brassica crops.
The results of the strategy were launched as part of a field walk on Thursday 19 April held at the Agosta’s farm at Werribee South, Victoria.
Dr Paul Horne, Entomologist from IPM Technologies Pty Ltd, who led the trial walk and presentation, said, “The strategy has proven to give equal levels of control to that achieved by using conventional spray programs.
“In addition, using both biological and compatible chemical control measures can present significant cost savings to growers.
“Under this strategy we have replaced six to eight sprays of conventional and biological insecticides with three sprays plus the release of diadegma wasps”, Dr Horne explained.
Anthony Agosta said, after working with Paul for more than 12 years, he was keen to take part in the development of a new way of controlling pests.
“The diadegma wasps are like my own guard dogs protecting my crop.
“The strategy has worked, there’s a cost saving and there’s also benefits in terms of resistance to pests in the long run so I am happy with it,” Anthony said.
The program aims to increase the use of an IPM approach in brassicas and prevent the overuse of Belt®, a Group 28 insecticide, during its application window, to reduce the likelihood of insecticide resistance.
Damien Odgers, Market Development Manager for Southern Horticulture at Bayer CropScience, said, “For almost 20 years, brassica growers in Victoria have had difficulty controlling the destructive diamondback moth.
“In developing this sustainable IPM program, Bayer’s objective has been to work with growers to determine how selective crop protection products like Belt® fit into a holistic approach to ensure we get the most out of the available tools,” Damien continued.
“It’s also about working in partnership with fellow industry companies to demonstrate the benefits growers can expect when they take this real leap of faith in implementing a new strategy,” he said.
“The field walk was the first time we saw the strategy actively demonstrated in the field so, after three years in development, it’s great to see the industry walking the talk.”
IPM strategy currently being tested to control diamondback moth in cauliflower and broccoli crops:
Week 1 Transplants planted
Weeks 2&3 Release diadegma (Diadegma semiclausum wasps)
Week 4 or 5 Spray DiPel® and also spray Movento®* if aphids are present
Buttoning Spray Belt®
Near Harvest Spray XenTari®
*Note: Movento® can be sprayed at any time if aphids are present
Belt® and Movento® are registered trademarks of Bayer.
Belt® is a fast-acting and long-lasting solution for the control of various pests in vegetable crops including diamondback moth, cabbage white butterfly, cluster caterpillar, heliothis, soybean looper, tomato leaf miner and potato moth. Belt is suitable for growers who choose to adopt an IPM approach, being safe for key beneficial species and pollinators including bees, lady birds and earthworms, when used as directed. Belt can be sprayed for the control of diamondback moth in Victoria between September and January as part of the insecticide resistance management strategy.
Background on IPM
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.