[ASC-media] GROWERS SLUG IT OUT/DANIEL'S DIRT FILE: GRDC Grain Flashes

BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Thu Dec 20 02:05:05 CET 2007


GROWERS SLUG IT OUT: Svetlana Micic, GRDC-supported entomologist with DAFWA
in Albany, reports that many grain growers in the high rainfall areas of
southern WA are finding slugs difficult to control.

 

Feeding preferences, plant consumption and mortality rate from a single
baiting event were trialled for two common slug pests, reticulated slug
(Deroceras reticulatum) and black-keeled slug (Milax gagates).

 

Ms Micic said results indicate a single bait application will not cause 100
per cent mortality.

 

Field trials show single baiting, coinciding with slug appearance before
crop emergence, gives good control, as there are limited food sources.

 

If crops have emerged, baits may need to be reapplied. Increasing canola
plant density does not decrease crop damage.

 

Slugs prefer brassica species, such as canola and wild radish, rather than
barley.

 

Worldwide, farming practices that retain soil moisture have increased
suitable habitat for slugs and therefore their economic impact on crops,
especially canola, Ms Micic said.

Contact: Svetlana Micic, Tel 08 9892 8444

 

DANIEL'S DIRT FILE: Dr Daniel Murphy, head of Soil Biology at the University
of Western Australia (UWA) and project leader for several GRDC funded soil
projects, is investigating on-site soil analysis techniques using
Mid-Infrared (MIR) technology.

 

Dr John Dell, Professor of Electronic Engineering at UWA, used
microelectronic technology to develop a MIR spectrometer the size of a
thumbnail.

 

The micro-spectrometers are robust, light and relatively cheap, making them
ideal for use in the field by growers.

 

Dr Dell, in conjunction with Dr Murphy, has yet to establish if the
micro-spectrometer is sensitive enough and can deliver sufficient data for
useful assessment of soil characteristics.

 

He is hopeful that the device will not only have application in soil
monitoring, but also in a modified package, for real time analysis of grain
characteristics (protein, oil, moisture, starch) so growers know what to
expect before delivering grain.

Contact: John Dell, Tel 08 6488 3112

 

 

 Authorised by Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)

 and issued on its behalf by

Brendon Cant & Associates, Tel 08 9384 1122



 



 


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