Pest Management Needs and Priorities

Midwest growers turnip to discuss how we can beet pests in our local vegetable crops.

AUSVEG – the National Vegetable Extension Network and Vegetables WA – recently held a crop specific round table in Midwest WA. And as the sun set over the Indian ocean, the Geraldton foreshore provided a perfect backdrop to talk about pests and priorities with local Cucumber, Capsicum, Eggplant and Tomato growers.

The afternoon started with a presentation from Alan Nankivell from AUSVEG, about the Tomato Potato Psyllid (TPP) and how to identify and manage the pest insect.

Alan said that “TPP did not qualify for quarantine, yet the bacteria that the insect may carry, Candidatus Liberbacto solanacearum still poses a great risk to the industry and a careful eye should be kept out for the insect.”

This was followed by a discussion with the aim being to prioritise pest, weed and disease species in local vegetable crops – along with the gaps and limitations in preventions, pesticides and research of these.

Truyen Vu – from the National Vegetable Extension Network – was able to facilitate the discussion and expertly switched between speaking Vietnamese and English so to engage our multicultural growing community.

Patrick Arratia from AUSVEG travelled from Melbourne to hear concerns from local growers and to discuss agrichemical pest management needs and priorities. The discussion gave Patrick plenty to think about and was the perfect opportunity to consult with industry.

NACC’s Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Annabelle Garratt attended the meeting and said coming out on top as the peskiest insect is the Western flower thrip, followed by the Two-spotted mite and further on came Aphids and caterpillars. The discussion then drifted to nematodes, weeds, soil borne and fungal diseases.

Annabelle added “There were a number of concerns being raised about the lack of chemicals available to assist in pest control and how easily pests are becoming tolerant.

“Conversation also drifted to alternative means and practices that may be considered less mainstream, but more environmentally friendly.”

If you would like to know more about alternative pest control methods, sustainable agriculture and where to find more information, please contact our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators- Lizzie King (E) [email protected] (P) 0447 361 335 or Annabelle Garratt (E) [email protected] (P) 0448 986 879.

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