Insect pests and beneficials in field crops

The presence and damage potential of insect pests in field crops can vary dramatically between seasons. Good management decisions rely on:

  • correct identification of pests and beneficials present
  • knowledge of the insects’ biology and likely behaviour
  • appropriate monitoring
  • balancing the potential risks of available management options
  • awareness of environmental conditions that may influence the success of any action taken.

Integrated pest management (IPM) is an approach that uses a combination of biological, cultural and chemical control methods to reduce pest populations. A key aim of IPM is to reduce reliance on insecticides as primary means of pest control. IPM can improve growers' profitability while reducing environmental damage and the risk of pesticide resistance.

Insect pest management information provided here is relevant to grain and cotton production in the northern grains region of Queensland and New South Wales.