This paper describes the IPM strategy developed for Australian potato crops and the pests with
which it must deal.
The potential impact of potato psyllid on this IPM strategy is a serious concern and has
the potential to destroy the strategy that is currently in place, and that some growers have used successfully
for over 13 years.
The main foliar pests that we must deal with are potato tuber moth (PTM) (Phthorimaea
operculella), several other caterpillar species, and aphid species including green peach aphid (Myzus
IPM requires an integrated set of control options for all pests, both major and minor, that are encountered in any crop. Potato crops are no different and there are beneficial species that occur in potato crops worldwide, cultural options that are available and also selective pesticide options.
One of the main issues that we had to deal with in Australia was the integration of several pest issues (e.g. potato moth and aphids and looper caterpillars) and the recognition that an inappropriate spray for one would disrupt control of other pests.
This apparently simple issue is a stumbling block for IPM adoption in a range of horticultural and broad-acre crops in which we work.
We need to develop biological and cultural control options for potato psyllid so that potato farmers using IPM can continue to do so.
- Parasitoids of Potato Tuber Moth and aphids were present in all areas where potatoes were grown and that they exerted considerable control pressure on these two key pests.
- The main parasitoid recovered from samples was the larval parasitoid Orgilus lepidus, followed in importance by another larval parasitoid Apanteles subandinus.
- The egg-larval polyembryonic parasitoid Copidosoma koehleri was found from most locations but was far less abundant than the larval parasitoids..
- Our observations show that broad-spectrum insecticides applied to control pests such as caterpillars can cause aphid flare.
We believe that this is a general principle that can be applied to many situations.
- Control of potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) with foliar applied insecticides would cause interference with the biological control of the other main pests of potatoes in Australia, and so destroy the main elements of an IPM strategy.
- There are known predators of potato psyllid outside Australia that belong to the same groups as those native Australian species that are already important in control of other potato pests.
It is not known how effective these native species will be in controlling potato psyllid and this needs to be studied as soon as possible.
The authors wish to thank the many potato growers who have collaborated with them for many years.
addition the authors would like to acknowledge the support of AusVeg and Horticulture Australia Limited
(HAL) (formerly HRDC) with several projects on potato pests.