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Beyond the Bale : Dec 08 - Jan 09
Animal health Beyond the BaLe 19 cage dip extends diazinon uses INSECTS RECRuITED TO FIGHT PASTuRE CuRSE Woolgrowers fighting Paterson’s curse now have access to a single one-stop resource to help them control the weed using insects A new interactive CD, A practical guide to biological control of Paterson’s curse, provides information on how to use insects, or ‘biological control’, as part of the integrated management of Paterson’s curse (also known as Salvation Jane). Biological control of Paterson’s curse involves the release of insects that can kill the weed, including crown weevil, root weevil, flea beetle, flower beetle and stem-boring beetle. Paterson’s curse infests more than 30 million hectares in southern Australia, costing the wool and meat industries more than $125 million each year. The CD is a collation of all information from the research into the biocontrol of Paterson’s curse funded by AWI and Meat and Livestock Australia, and developed over the past decade by the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management (Weeds CRC), the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the Victorian DPI, the South Australian Research and Development Institute, the Department of Food and Agriculture, Western Australia, and CSIRO. The CD details opportunities for the biological control of Paterson’s curse, including: l how to identify sites suitable for biological control; l information on how to source, collect and redistribute biological control agents; cage dipping of sheep provides a safe working environment when treating sheep for lice. W hile the registration suspension of diazinon by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) caused concern for wool producers, AWI reports that there has been a breakthrough in wet dipping for lice treatment. The results of a 2006 AWI-funded, proof-of- concept study into the operator safety of submersible cage dippers has led to a minor use permit being awarded to a Victorian contractor for a 12-month period. This minor use permit, which expired on 19 September 2008, was extended by the APVMA for a further three months to allow the permit holder to comply with the permit conditions and generate the additional occupational health and safety data required. AWI’s program manager for animal health and welfare Dr Johann Schröder says discussions with APVMA have revealed that any cage-dipper operator is free to apply for a similar use permit. “Evidence that their equipment is designed to prevent the operator being splashed will have to be supported by patch testing data from at least two operators, dipping up to 5,000 sheep daily over three separate days,” he says. In addition to improved operator safety, Dr Schröder says cage dippers offer other advantages, particularly animal welfare benefits from assisted plunging and extraction. “Wet animals are not required to carry their wet, and substantially heavier, fleeces up the sloping ramp out of a dip tank, but can walk out of the cage onto a dripping pen with a level surface, before walking down the ramp and out of the yard,” he says. Another development in the field is the release of a new organophosphate sheep dip registered for lice, based on a chemical called temephos and marketed by Coopers as Assassin®. No special permit is required if used according to the label recommendations, which cover shower and plunge dips. More information: AVPMA permits search, www.apvma.gov.au/permits/permits.shtml l how to maintain biological control sites, including managing agent populations through wet and dry periods; l guidelines on how to monitor biological control agent progress; and l information on Paterson’s curse, the general principles of biological control and integrated weed management, and relevant brochures and publications relating to the weed and agents. The CD also includes maps of where biocontrol agent releases have been conducted across temperate Australia, indicating the likely distribution of each agent. The maps offer a ‘drill down’ function, allowing further details to be viewed regarding agents that work in a particular region. Also featured on the CD are on-farm case studies, answers to some frequently asked questions, contacts in each state, and links to further information about weeds and biological control, including the legal responsibilities of land managers to control weeds. ú More information: To order a copy of the free CD, A practical guide to biological control of Paterson’s curse, call the AWI Helpline, 1800 070 099
February March 2009
Oct - Nov 08