Insect pests are increasingly costing northern Victorian and southern NSW dairy farmers time and money, but new research is now being conducted to shed greater light on the problem.
To date, the challenge has been the variable nature across farms, regions, seasons, years and even the types of insect pests change from year to year.
This in turn makes it extremely hard for farmers to determine the best approach, making it a costly exercise to sort out.
The research, supported by Dairy Australia, will work to pinpoint the insects damaging dairy pastures across all of Victoria, southern NSW, South Australia and Tasmania and lead to more accurate methods to combat the pests.
Dairy Australia program manager Richard Romano said an online survey had been developed as part of the research in order to improve understanding of the type, distribution and frequency of major insect pests of perennial pastures across the south-east Australia dairy regions.
‘‘To ensure the research is as detailed as possible to quantify the situation and to find the best cost-saving measures, we are encouraging as many dairy farmers across northern Victoria and southern NSW as possible to complete the short survey,’’ Mr Romano said.
‘‘The survey work will also be used to help target research and development in the future.’’
Mr Romano said he had heard from a number of farmers across the Murray Dairy region about different insect pests and the damage they were causing.
■The survey can be found at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/AUInsects