Management of greyback canegrub in sugarcane; from research to practice : SRDC Final Project Report BSS223
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This project was designed to involve and educate growers and advisory staff of the long-term benefits and increased profitability of greyback canegrub IPM systems. The project facilitated the adoption of IPM principles and strategies through a series of workshops. In addition, the project increased the knowledge base of BSES, CPPB and other sugar industry staff on the biology of greyback canegrubs and the strategies used to reduce their damage in order to maintain a sustainable industry. IPM relies on a good understanding of pest ecology, which may have not been necessary with the sole reliance on insecticides in the past.The project produced an IPM manual detailing the strategies that growers can use to reduce the damage caused by greyback canegrubs. Workshops gave the participants confidence and experience in greyback canegrub IPM concepts and strategies.This project has seen the development of a series of greyback canegrub management workshops that covered topics identified by the canegrub consultative committee, growers and research groups. Detailed discussions in relation to canegrub related topics, issues, facts and grower opinion and changes have been incorporated into the workshops, and grower and industry advisory manuals. The level of participation of Burdekin canegrowers and sugar industry advisory staff exceeded the objective of this project with 399 growers (greater than 70%) and over 90% of relevant industry staff attending the workshops.After the completion of the grower workshops, the level of understanding of the principles of IPM and whole-of-farm management for greyback canegrubs has markedly increased since the inception of this project. Grower awareness of available control methods and the management of greyback canegrubs have improved remarkably. This is reflected in level of available control methods currently being implemented by growers.Initial inspection of damage sustained from greyback canegrub in the Burdekin district indicated that after the completion of the first year of the project, the number of growers receiving grub damage experienced a slight reduction. However, total damage levels were still as high as the previous year, indicating that some growers were starting to adopt some best management practices (BMP) and some were not. During the following years, the level of greyback canegrub damage dropped from 6,743 hectares of damage in 2001 to approximately 1,279 hectares of damage for the year 2002. The reduction in grub damage can be attributed to the increased level of grub management strategies that growers implemented in 2001. In 2001, for the first time in a number of years, the level of chemical treatments applied by growers (8,855 hectares ) increased above the level of damage (6,743 hectares ) for that year. The treatment of high risk and vulnerable areas with control products has had the greatest effect on the reduction in greyback canegrub damage.