Posted June 14, 2016 12:01:38
The national taskforce on managing the Russian wheat aphid arrived in South Australia last week preparing for the worst, but left feeling underwhelmed by the task ahead.
The aphid is an exotic pest first discovered in Tarlee in South Australia in May, and is said to be one of the most destructive cereal pests known to farmers.
It is Australia's first incursion of the pest, which is now endemic across eastern parts of South Australia and western Victoria.
After making the discovery on May 12, local agronomist Andrew Parkinson said the wheat paddock that had been crawling with aphids was now clear of the pest.
"As soon as the relevant authorities got involved, they gave us a recommendation for an insecticide to use, which proved to be very, very effective ... to this point it has been very successful," he said.
The national management group, led Grain Producers Australia chairman Andrew Weidemann, travelled to the centre of the outbreak in South Australia to develop a national strategy to manage the pest.