The Australian crop mirid: An emerging pest in lucerne seed production systems in South Australia

  • 25 pages

  • Published: 3 Oct 2023

  • Author(s): Nancy Cunningham

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-424-0

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Lucerne is an important pasture species in Australia and pest management is critical in seed crops to maximise yield. The Australian crop mirid (Sidnia kinbergi) is endemic to Australia and New Zealand, and is recognised as a pest of lucerne, clover, pulses, and many other horticultural crops. They damage buds, flowers and growing points through feeding. Australian crop mirids have been identified as an emerging pest in lucerne seed crops in the Upper South East region of South Australia and information about this pest is limited, particularly in a southern Australian context.

The aim of this review was to broaden our understanding of the Australian crop mirid in lucerne and provide recommendations for future research and development so that we can more effectively address issues and knowledge gaps regarding this pest.

The work found there have been few studies specifically on the Australian crop mirid in Australia and there is limited information on the pest’s lifecycle in lucerne and its requirements for successful laboratory rearing. The review identified a list of potential chemistries for use on Australian crop mirid in lucerne for priority examination and to guide future chemical permit applications.

Recommendations include: (1) implement permit applications for candidate chemistries to assist with control management strategies; (2) use studies on other crops or species to develop a program to investigate laboratory rearing methods for Australian crop mirid (to enable further research); (3) undertake research and development on Australian crop mirid biology and ecology, including population dynamics and pest thresholds for integrated pest management; (4) screen lucerne varieties to determine Australian crop mirid resistance; and (5) continue research into current and new chemistries for control of Australian crop mirid.