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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 48(12)

Management of beneficial invertebrates and their potential role in integrated pest management for Australian grain systems

Joanne C. Holloway A C, Michael J. Furlong B, Philip I. Bowden A

A New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Pine Gully Road, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.
B School of Integrative Biology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: joanne.holloway@dpi.nsw.gov.au
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Beneficial invertebrates (predators and parasitoids) can make significant contributions to the suppression of insect pest populations in many cropping systems. In Australia, natural enemies are incorporated into integrated pest management programs in cotton and horticultural agroecosystems. They are also often key components of effective programs for the management of insect pests of grain crops in other parts of the world. However, few studies have examined the contribution of endemic natural enemies to insect pest suppression in the diverse grain agroecosystems of Australia. The potential of these organisms is assessed by reviewing the role that natural enemies play in the suppression of the major pests of Australian grain crops when they occur in overseas grain systems or other local agroecosystems. The principal methods by which the efficacy of biological control agents may be enhanced are examined and possible methods to determine the impact of natural enemies on key insect pest species are described. The financial and environmental benefits of practices that encourage the establishment and improve the efficacy of natural enemies are considered and the constraints to adoption of these practices by the Australian grains industry are discussed.

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