Journal article

Pests of Australian dairy pastures: distribution, seasonality and potential impacts on pasture production

Paul A Umina, Stuart Kemp, Marielle Babineau, James L Maino, Isobel Roberts, Alana Govender, Garrick McDonald, Alison J Popay, David E Hume, Scott Hardwick, Nicola K Richards, Olivia Reynolds, Evatt Chirgwin



The dairy industry provides an important contribution to the Australian economy, but its productivity relies on grass pastures that suffer significant damage from invertebrate pests. Managing these pests remains a challenge as information on their abundance and impact is only available for a handful of taxa in a few Australian dairy regions. In this study, we undertook an extensive survey of above- and below-ground pest communities across seven dairy regions in south-eastern Australia by repeatedly sampling 57 paddocks in 2017 and 2018. We then applied energetic models to estimate the amount of metabolisable energy produced by pastures that are potentially consumed by pests. Our survey indic..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the following people for field sampling support and assistance with identifications: Julia Severi, Elia Pirtle, Oliver Stuart, Siobhan de Little, Xuan Cheng, Derek Wilson, Corina Till, Chantelle Webb, Derek Mason, Duncan Thomas, Callum Herron, EmmaMcDonald, Georgina Rees, Sarah Baker, Kate Byrne, Greg Bramley, Jade Chan, Sherryn Heffernan, John Roberts and Peter Ridland. This work was supported through funding from Dairy Australia. We also thank the many farmers who allowed us access to their properties and freely provided paddock history information. We thank AgResearch bioinformaticians, Paul Maclean, Ruy Jauregui and Aurelie Laugraud, for assisting with the scarab phylogenetic analysis.