17 October 2016
When the Russian wheat aphid first arrived in Australia in May, Australia’s grain industry went into a panic because the insect is potentially devastating for cereal crops.
But no one could have predicted the record rainfall that hit parts of south-eastern Australia, which has virtually wiped out the exotic pest.
South Australian Government principal entomologist Greg Baker said the aphids were unlikely to affect this year’s harvest because most of the insects were drowning in watery mud.
“In general terms, I think most crops are likely to not experience further infestation levels,” he said.
Last month, Mr Baker’s research team was counting about 100 aphids per tiller of wheat in three research zones in South Australia.