Collaborative partnership to help industry control greyback cane grubs

Date Posted

7 September, 2020

Posted by

brad.pfeffer

Sugarcane growers have a new tool in their toolbox to manage one of the industry’s primary crop pests, Greyback Canegrub.

The new publication, the Greyback Canegrub Management manual, provides comprehensive information on managing this significant pest, which affects all sugarcane growing regions between Plane Creek in Central Queensland to Mossman in Far North Queensland.

The work occurred as part of a collaboration between Sugar Research Australia (SRA), the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, CANEGROWERS, the Australia Cane Farmers Association, Bayer Crop Science and Nufarm Limited. It is funded by the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program through the Enhanced Extension Coordination project.

SRA Regional Coordinator for the Central Region, Phil Ross, said that the manual provided practical and current information for growers, which will assist the industry in managing a key economic pest and also in stewardship of the insecticide chemical, imidacloprid.

“Imidacloprid represents the sugar industry’s best canegrub management tool and proper stewardship of this chemical is vital for the ongoing viability of cane farming in the 50 percent of soils where canegrub damage is common,” Mr Ross said.

“The manual and the broader project have looked at the best practice use of imidacloprid to ensure the industry’s ongoing access to imidacloprid as a control for cane grubs. SRA has collaborated on the ground with productivity services companies to understand the current on-ground practices and to develop strategies to help the industry to continue to improve grub management.

“For example, the project considered key aspects of grub control such as the determination of when to use the chemical, correct placement, and using the chemical only for grub control.”

The manual has been distributed to all growers between Plane Creek and Mossman with the Spring edition of CaneConnection magazine. It is also available online via the SRA website (https://sugarresearch.com.au/sra-information/publications/) or additional copies can be sourced by contacting Phil Ross on pross@sugarresearch.com.au or 0477 318 897.

“Through this project we’ve identified practical opportunities to work with the industry to continue to improve efficiency and sustainability. This will lead to economic outcomes through improved input efficiency and effective grub control, and sustainability outcomes through improving water quality.”