BCG Staff Member Kelly Angel recently travelled to Bendigo to host a panel discussion alongside industry experts Greg Toomey (Nutrien Ag Solutions) and Craig Drum (Dagro) as part of the ongoing ‘Sustainable use of insecticides in the southern region’ project being undertaken by BCG in collaboration with the GRDC.
The aim of the project is to provide knowledge and skills to growers, so they are equipped with a range of appropriate integrated pest management (IPM) strategies aimed at delaying the onset of insecticide resistance.
The panel discussion was centred around the changes in pest management over the last 20 years and the new push to control pests in a sustainable way. “The project is looking to increase grower awareness about the risks associated with the current use patterns of insecticides” Kelly explained in a recent interview regarding the project.
The Panel agreed that there is a need to have greater confidence in trying different strategies to limit chemical use – and that a key strategy is to improve growers’ skills in identifying pests and understanding their lifestyles. “It’s easy to throw the cheap pesticide in the mix, but I feel we need to be more long term focused,” says Kelly “We want to get away from this prophylactic use – this use of just in case I’ll chuck it in.”
The project will deliver three best management practice guides for Red Legged Earth Mite, Green Peach Aphid & Diamondback Moth, which will be available through the GRDC Website. Presentations will also be made at the BCG Main Field Day and via a 5-part podcast series focussing on IPM.
The project has an overarching output that is looking at the current status, the future threats and what IPM entails. “BCG has always strived to undertake research projects which improve the profitability and long-term success of growers” explained Board Chairman John Ferrier.