Understanding pesticide resistance

By Country News

The Crop Protection Forum, held on December 3 in Moama, brought together 100 industry experts from across Australia to learn about the latest research around insecticide, herbicide and fungicide resistance in the grains industry.

cesar scientist Jessica Lye said managing herbicide, insecticide or fungicide resistance can be complicated.

“The Crop Protection Forum provides agronomists, advisers and other industry professionals the opportunity to come together and collectively discuss the major issues in the monitoring and management of resistance and as an industry consider effective strategies for minimising resistance risks into the future,” Dr Lye said.

In order to manage pesticide effectively, an understanding of genetic, ecological and environmental factors that contribute to selection pressures in a pest population is necessary.

Speakers at the forum discussed the evolution, trends and management of resistance.

“Going forward, it is important that we ensure we have resistance monitoring tools for identifying and responding to pesticide resistance,” Dr Lye said.

“Early detection is key to effective management and we would encourage growers and their advisers to make use of the identification services available and ensure they have up-to-date knowledge on resistance risks.”

Attendees were also encouraged to employ integrated resistance management strategies.

“Chemical rotations, being selective in spraying decisions and adopting non-chemical management practices will contribute to reducing the selection pressures that lead to resistance,” Dr Lye said.

The forum was hosted by cesar in partnership with the Centre for Crop and Disease Management, the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, the Grains Research and Development Corporation the University of Western Australia and the University of Melbourne.

Key messages of the forum were to:

●Adopt crop competition strategies for weed control such as reduced row spacing, higher seeding rates or selection of competitive cultivars.

●Alternate modes of action when applying fungicide sprays, never applying Group 3 fungicides twice in a row and ensure that Group 7 and 11 fungicides are not used more than once per season.

●Reduce selection pressures for insect pests by avoiding prophylactic chemical usage.

●Mix and rotate herbicides between different modes of action.

●Diversify pest control practices to ensure use of the whole tactical toolkit when it comes to reducing resistance pressures.