Crop dusters move in on budworm, aphids

Trin SucklingCountryman

In a bid to protect yields, Mid West canola growers are opting to crop dust to prevent an outbreak of budworm, combat aphids and diamondback moth as the growing season comes to a close.

Following signs of significant aphid infestation last month, agronomist Simon Teakle said the area was lucky to escape a harsher impact.

"One month ago plants were under a lot of stress," he said.

"Aphid numbers were starting to climb, I was starting to think this is going to get out of control but good growing weather, cool days and rainfall has really made numbers drop back and kept it manageable."

Mr Teakle said several rare cases had shown above average damage.

"Careful monitoring of canola crops has prevented any major issues from developing, budworm are out in their numbers at the moment," he said.

"This stage of cropping is the only real threat to yield, farmers choosing to dust will also take care of any aphid or diamondback moth issues still lingering."

Ogilvie farmer Brad Cripps found diamondback moth and aphids when monitoring his crops.

"We picked up signs of aphids and diamondback moths doing damage to the pods and it was an easy decision to get on top of them," he said.

For Mr Cripps, dusting has had a significant impact across his canola program.

"Our major issue was diamondback moth, which we have got on top of. We are pretty confident the output will be covered by the input," he said.

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