Survey on RLEM could provide more management options

AGRIFUTURES Australia Pasture Seeds Program has co-funded a project with the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to address future options for the control of Red Legged Earth Mite (RLEM) in Australian crops.
Survey on RLEM could provide more management options Survey on RLEM could provide more management options Survey on RLEM could provide more management options Survey on RLEM could provide more management options Survey on RLEM could provide more management options

A survey will provide information on RLEM control strategies. Picture courtesy Cesar Australia.

Staff writer

The AgriFutures Pasture Seeds project will cover broadscale RLEM resistance surveillance and exploration of novel synthetic and biological-based approaches to RLEM.

Initially, the project led by Cesar Australia, is surveying farmers and agronomists to better understand how RLEM is managed, including their attitudes towards the pest and the damage it's inflicting in paddocks.

The survey will provide an industry RLEM knowledge baseline, the foundation to which best practice control strategies, such as integrated pest management guidelines and resistance management recommendations, will be developed.

Cesar Australia Research and Extension Scientist, Leo McGrane, said the evolution of RLEM resistance to synthetic pyrethroids and organophosphates means farmers are left with fewer control methods.

"Surveying growers and agronomists, asking how they navigate the complexity of insecticide resistance, will provide insights into RLEM management in different farm systems," he said.

"We are hoping to get an understanding of exactly how they have managed RLEM in the past, whether they've had success controlling it and what exactly made it successful in the cases where they were able to manage it," McGrane said.

The Australian agricultural industry has management guidelines and strategies for RLEM, including controlling the pest in circumstances where there's known insecticide resistance.

"This new industry survey would provide information to update these guidelines and strategies, while also enabling researchers to tailor future research to address current RLEM challenges," McGrane said.

McGrane said this survey is a crucial part of this project. It will help us develop extension materials and promote the new resistance management strategy and best management practice information so that growers understand it and have easy access to it.

To complete the survey, visit

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