NovaChem > Industry News > 2013 > Tiny pest can pack a big punch to crop yields

Tiny pest can pack a big punch to crop yields

Published on 22/11/2013

And they can continue to wreak havoc for quite a while, effectively ring barking at ground level plants as high as 15 cm.
Rather than hear about it after the fact this year, retailers are much better off making sure their customers are well-primed to prevent the problem in the first place, and that's where one insecticide comes into its own, Nufarm says.
"Attack is both extremely effective against Nysius, and cost effective too," explains Cynthia Christie, the company's development
She says this pest often catches farmers unawares, causing significant damage before being noticed.
"In direct drilled crops, for example, up to 70 per cent of plants have been killed as a result of Nysius feeding, which consists of punctures around the base of the plant."
Even if plants are not killed outright, they become weakened as a result and are end up stunted and prone to being blown out of the ground.
The key to avoiding such an outcome is to organise a monitoring and control plan before the risk period begins, and that means
talking to farmers about their crop protection options when they pick up their brassica or fodder beet seed for sowing, Christie says.
"Monitoring is essential. Crops need to be inspected every day or two for the first three to four weeks after sowing. Nysius populations can build up very quickly."
Adult Nysius are small, and coloured grey/ brown, which makes it difficult to distinguish them against the soil.
"You have to look hard closely, but it’s not unusual to eventually find them in big numbers, clustered around emerging brassica seedlings, a bit like calves around a calf feeder."
Because they are very mobile, and have so many other host plants, including pasture and lucerne, farmers also need to be aware that Nysius can rapidly re-infest a crop from neighbouring paddocks.
Christie says Attack has another attribute in its favour besides being lethal to these early pests.
"It also controls the pests that come later - leaf miner, aphids and the caterpillars of diamondback moth and white butterfly moth. So farmers can buy one product at the start of the season, and use it right through - they're not going to end up with half a container of insecticide unused at the end of the season."
Attack contains two active ingredients (permethrin and pirimiphos-methyl) in an EC formulation. Pack sizes are one, five and 20 litre.
For more detail phone your Nufarm territory manager.

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