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Ongoing project

Impact of pesticides on beneficial arthropods of importance in Australian vegetable production (VG16067)

Key research provider: IPM Technologies

What’s it all about?

This project is developing information on the impact of pesticides on insects and mites that play a beneficial role in the Australian vegetable industry. This information is essential for making decisions about the use of pesticides in vegetable crops that are grown using integrated pest management. To help improve pest management with minimal and appropriate use of insecticides, for growers and their advisors the project will develop a user-friendly management guide around this information, based on crop type.

The team reports that testing of insecticides for effects on beneficial species has continued, with 113 tests using ten insecticides and eleven beneficial species now completed.

The insecticides tested are those that could potentially be used in IPM programs and have current registrations in the vegetable industry. In some cases, chemicals are proving lethal to juvenile stages but not to adults, requiring more testing of these sub-lethal effects.

An informal talk given to a group of 30 fruiting vegetable growers in Stanthorpe, was well received indicating a demand for this information.  The team will look for more opportunities to meet with grower groups, agronomists and resellers over the remaining 12 months of the project.

The project so far has completed 89 tests using eight insecticides and eleven beneficial species. The results of these tests will provide information that will essentially help to answer what effect, if any, these products have on biological control agents of importance in Australian vegetable production.

At this stage the laboratory tests have shown a range of toxicities to the species tested so the next step is to test how accurately these results are reflected under field conditions.

When this has been answered the results will be delivered to the vegetable industry as a series of guides that will be designed for each crop type. The intention is not to develop a list of good and bad products but instead to help users of these products make informed decisions about where to place them in different IPM systems.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund