Strategies to control greyback canegrub in early harvested ratoon crops : SRDC final report : project IPB001
Greyback canegrubs consistently cause losses of $5-10 million per year to sugarcane producers, with periodic disastrous outbreaks where losses are about $20-40 million. This indicates that the current strategy is inadequate to manage this pest in the modern production environment. This project targets one important constraint to developing a better management package - the inability to treat ratoon crops, the crop category contributing most to outbreaks. The specific aim was to largely overcome this constraint through, simultaneously, demonstrating to and encouraging growers to adopt more advanced and efficient control systems, whilst exploring the potential of a new insecticide within the system framework. This project saw a joint involvement between SRDC, BSES, the industry-funded Inkerman Cane Protection and Productivity Board (CPPB), and Bayer CropScience, to facilitate more rapid and relevant registration of a compound for use in sugarcane production.Long-term BSES and SRDC program goals are to develop combinations of new and existing cultural, biological and chemical tactics into newer, flexible, integrated pest management (IPM) strategies to modulate the severity and frequency of losses and to provide more affordable and sustainable controls. In evaluating a new insecticide for use in ratoon crops, grower participants and supporting staff were introduced to the concept of developing more modern IPM practice for managing greyback canegrub. The new system may also be applicable to other control agents. The aim is for integrated strategy with flexibility - new risk-assessment-based systems for selecting fields suitable for this treatment, or for alternative tactics, and ?trap-cropping? concepts for attaining maximum benefit from a specific treatment through cross-protection of neighbouring fields.