Feasibility of acoustic detection of canegrubs for better management decisions : SRDC final report BSS300
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Monitoring of pest populations is a key to effective management of insects in many crops, allowing pest-control treatments to be applied when needed, and only when needed. Monitoring should be relied on more for management of canegrubs in sugarcane, but its widespread adoption is held back by the laborious task of digging up cane stools to assess grub populations. This project aimed to assess the feasibility of detecting grub populations by the sounds that they make below-ground. A researcher experienced in acoustic detection of hidden insects, Dr Richard Mankin from the United States Department of Agriculture in Florida, worked with BSES entomologists near Mackay and Bundaberg for 2 weeks in April-May 2007, using equipment that he brought with him. The investigations demonstrated that canegrubs can be detected readily in Queensland sugarcane fields during a time when worthwhile decisions could be made about future grub management. However, more work is needed to develop a system that could be deployed as a practical monitoring tool.