Skies are very heavy with little of no rain falling. A dry start would be a welcome sight after continuous drizzle and overcast conditions for the previous couple of months. Yellow spot appears to be more active this year, particularly in Q200 and Q186 varieties. Once again a good dose of sunshine would be welcomed.
Cane grubs have again caused significant damage to crops on the area. Hot spots are in the Silkwood, Moresby, Kurrimine, Japoonvale and Mena Creek areas, with light to moderate infestations in the Daradgee and Garradunga areas.
Most farmers are using control measures, but not all. Farmers must realise that this is an industry problem and all farmers, in susceptible areas, will be affected sooner or later. Don’t rely on your neighbour for your grub control!
For more information contact your preferred chemical supplier or your productivity board or BSES extension officer. The level of damage is 1.5 to 2 grubs per stool before economic harm is reached; so growers beware, you don’t need many grubs before tonnes and dollars per ha start affecting your crops viability.
Farmers’ budgets and patience have been sorely tested as research has yet to solve this tenacious problem. In a few short years we have managed to work around orange rust and smut and farmers ask; when will we reach effective grub control?
Grubs have always been around and are a problem in most areas on the cane industry. Our arsenal of grub-control weapons is limited but we have to keep treating and researching in a well coordinated manner, otherwise the viability of the most susceptible parts of the industry will be seriously in doubt.
Finally my heaviest criticism is to the large areas of ex-cane land now under tree plantations that have been abandoned or are in receivership. These properties have regrowth of volunteer cane, vine, grasses, etc. This has the potential of a fire hazard and is a breeding ground for pests and diseases; not the least, grubs and pigs.
When are the authorities going to step in and clean up this problem? Passing the buck is not acceptable!