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May 7, 2014, 10 a.m.

A WEBSITE could be the weapon of choice for farmers in the war against pest insects.

This website is called IPM Guidelines for Grains, which offers detailed information and advice for best management of destructive insect pests within Australia’s major grain crops.

It includes specific recommendations for each stage of crop development.

Developed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Entomology team, in conjunction with collaborators in all grain growing regions of Australia, the site equips growers and advisors with the latest advice to minimise production loss.

Also designed to help implement effective, long-term pest management practices on a whole-of-farm basis, DAFF Senior Extension officer, Entomology Kate Charleston said the IPM Guidelines took a problem-solving approach as opposed to being a rigid set of management guidelines.

They draw on all available pest management tools to tailor recommendations according to crop type, growth stage and location.

“This website provides easy-to-find information that you are unlikely to find on any other pest management website,” Ms Charleston said.

“Essentially what we have done is collected all the known information about integrated pest management in grains, including some novel practices, and applied this to specific pests and crops.

“Pest pages focus on management tactics for each crop stage including ‘off season’ operations and planning, while in the crop pages we have provided risk tables to address questions such as ‘when is the crop most at risk from pests’; ‘is there something I can do to minimise pest pressure’; or ‘can certain environmental conditions make the crop more susceptible to certain pests’?”

In addition to targeted IPM recommendations, the website contains an extensive collection of supporting material that is available both on the site and via external links, as well as a series of images to help users identify individual pest species.

The website is funded by the National Invertebrate Pest Initiative (NIPI), which is supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), and brings together scientists from state government departments, universities, farmer groups and CSIRO to address pest management issues in the Australian grains industry

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