Latest research publications

Here we summarize a range of scientific publications that may be of relevance to agronomists and IPM practitioners. If you have a subscription to the journal you may be able to access the article itself directly from the journals website. If you don’t have a subscription please contact the corresponding author and they will be happy to provide you with a copy.

Synthetic pesticides in AgroEcosystems

This research examines the effects of broad-spectrum and several selective ‘softer’ pesticides on pest and non-target invertebrates in Wheat and Canola crops in southern Australia between 2008 and 2010. This article discusses the notion that broad-spectrum pesticides negatively effect non-target and potentially beneficial invertebrates more than selective pesticides. In this study, limited effects on non-target groups were detected, and instances where broad-spectrum pesticides had negative effects, these effects varied between sites and non-target groups. The implications of these results are discussed.

To view this article:  DOI: 10.1603/ec12088

Corresponding author: Paul Umina, Department of Zoology, the University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010 Australia

Pests: Various, including Halotydeus destructor  red legged earth mites, Penthaleus spp.

Crops: Wheat, Canola

Keywords: pesticide, nontarget, mortality, invertebrate, agro-ecosystems


This article investigates how habitat types in agricultural landscapes affect the reproduction of both pest and their natural predators. This was examined by looking at the species present in six crops and the seven most abundant native plants in two landscapes over the course of a year. The authors found that native plants and crops supported different assemblages, with native vegetation  possessing higher densities of predators and crops supporting higher pest numbers. This research suggests that the maintenance or restoration of native vegetation can increase predator numbers, enhancing the suppresion of pest in crops.

To view this article:  DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-9563.2012.00586.x

Corresponding author: Felix J. J. A. Bianchi, Wageningen University, Biol Farming Syst Grp, NL-6700 AN Wageningen, Netherlands

Pests: Aphid, Helicoverpa spp., Leafhopper, Mirid, Diamondback Moth, Rutherglen bug.

Crops: Sorghum, Wheat, Barley, Canary, Cotton, Chick pea

Keywords: Biological control; landscape composition; pest control; predator; prey



This article uses old survey data collected on the location of red legged earth mites across Australia and compares it to newer surveys including its native range in South Africa. Despite being introduced into Australia relatively recently (in the 1960’s) this species seems to being doing well under Australian conditions and is now capable of surviving in  hotter and drier inland areas.

To view the article:  DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00844.x

Corresponding author: Matthew P. Hill, Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.

Pests: Halotydeus destructor  red legged earth mite

Crops: grains

Keywords: Biological invasions; Halotydeus destructor; invasive species; MAXENT; niche conservatism; niche shift; reciprocal distribution modelling


This review examines effective pest management in coarse grain cropping and discusses the reasons for the lack of implementation of IPM principles by growers despite the industries desires. The authors argue that with increasingly limiting climatic conditions and increasing demand for coarse grain, a widely adopted, dymanic approach to IPM can provide a low cost control of invertebrate pests with reduced environmental impacts.

To view this article:  DOI: 10.1016/j.cropro.2012.06.017

Corresponding author: Michael A. Nash, University of Melbourne, Inst Bio21, Dept Genet, Parkville, Vic 3010, Australia

Pests: Various, including: Helicoverpa, aphids, locusts, pea weevil, lucerne flea

Crops: Grains

Keywords: Integrated pest management; Pest outbreaks; Sustainable agriculture; Grains; Slugs; Economic thresholds



This article examines the movement of pests and their natural enemies between the crop-crop and native vegetation-crop interfaces. The differences in movement of pests and their natural enemies across these edge types and their impact on pest control services are discussed.

To view this article:  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059659

Corresponding author: Sarina Macfadyen, CSIRO Ecosyst Sci & Sustainable Agr Flagship, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Pests: Aphids, Helicoverpa, Lepidopteran moths

Crops: Wheat, barley, canola


This article provides an overview of IPM in the major grain crops of north-eastern Australia, north of latitude 32oS. The benefit of IPM to grain crops, IPM tools and strategies for the use of insecticides, biopesticides and parasitoids, and the future directions in IPM, are all discussed.

To view this article:  DOI: 10.1071/ea08166

Corresponding author: Hugh B. Brier, Queensland Department Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Pests: silverleaf whitefly, Helicoverpa, soybean aphids, western flower thrips, mirids

Crops: Grains (summer and winter cereals), oilseeds and pulses

Keywords: area-wide management, bean podborer, corn, Eretmocerus, etiella, loopers, mungbeans, peanuts, podsucking bugs, Trichogramma,  wheat



This article discusses the shift in invertebrate pests due to evolving management practices and climate change over the last 20-30 years in the Australian grains industry. Changes in pest pressure,  pesticide usage, changed farming practices and climate changes as drivers, the potential impacts of GM crops and the future of IPM are also discussed.

To view this article:  DOI: 10.1071/ea08185

Corresponding author: Ary A. Hoffmann, University of Melbourne, CESAR, Mol Sci Inst Bio21, Dept Zool, Parkville, Vic 3010, Australia

Pests: red legged earth mites, pea weevils, armyworms, lucerne flea, Balaustium mites, blue oat mites, Bryobia mites, aphids, snails.

Keywords: biological control, climate change, insect resistance, south-eastern Australia, Lepidoptera, Halotydeus destructor


Predator and parasitoids can make significant contributions to the suppression of insect pest populations in cropping systems. This article reviews the role that natural enemies play in the suppression of major pests of grain crops within Australia and describes possible methods to determine the impact of these interactions.

To view this article:  DOI: 10.1071/ea07424

Corresponding author: Joanne C. Holloway, Wagga Wagga Agr Inst, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia

Pests: Helicoverpa spp., Diamondback moth, mirids

Crops: Grain

Keywords: Landscape structure, natural enemies, south-east Queensland