Integrated control of currant lettuce aphid is possible
From the May 2006 edition of Agriculture Today.
Growers can control currant lettuce aphid - that's the assessment of a national Lettuce Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project.
Three IPM growers are demonstrating they can successfully grow, harvest and sell lettuce in Victoria.
The growers have been growing IPM lettuce with assistance of Dr Paul Horne and NSW DPIís Dr Sandra McDougall.
They continued to grow some or all of their lettuce using IPM techniques when currant lettuce aphid arrived.
Two of the IPM growers and a number of other IPM lettuce growers treated some or all of their crops with imidacloprid so they could market their them interstate.
The three growers have supplied the major supermarkets this season without any rejections due to infestation.
Dr Paul Horne is a collaborator in a national Lettuce IPM project funded in part by Horticulture Australia and AUSVEG levy funds, and led by Dr McDougall.
This project follows on from the success of the Tasmanian lettuce IPM demonstration trial conducted by Lionel Hill at the Forthside Research station near Devonport in the 2004-05 season.
This season Tasmanian lettuce growers have been trialling IPM on their farms.
IPM trial plantings of both babyleaf and head lettuce were planted.
The babyleaf plantings are proving a challenge with normally short planting to harvest time but the relatively long three weeks between plantings in this trial.
Some babyleaf plantings have been 'clean' at harvest while others are clean a week after the planned harvest date.Aphid numbers in the head lettuce have been low so far; no action has been needed.
Now that currant lettuce aphid has arrived in the Sydney basin, central coast and Tamworth, similar demonstrations will be conducted in the Sydney basin next season.
This season, Western Australian collaborator Dr Sonia Broughton, has been surveying lettuce for beneficial insects and working with growers to monitor their crops.
Not having locally trained and competent IPM consultants has been identified as another major barrier for growers to adopt a more integrated pest management strategy.
Dr McDougall will do case studies to identify changes in practice and identify benefits.
The bimonthly newsletter Lettuce Leaf gives regular updates on the project.
Copies are sent to all lettuce growers and are also available at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/horticulture/vegetables.
Contact: Sandra McDougall, Yanco, 02 6951 2728.