Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

Australia: Also sterile fruit flies enlisted in fruit fly fight

Millions of ‘attractive’ sterile fruit flies are being dropped from the sky over Adelaide as the $45 million fruit fly fight continues.

This is the first time Queensland fruit flies (Qfly) sourced only from the new National Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) Facility in Port Augusta have been used SIT to assist with incursion eradication.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, watched the flies descend from the Adelaide sky.

“Australia is at the cutting edge, using new technology to manage farm pests. We have developed the unique SITplus program based on SIT programs that have been effective in California and Guatemala,” Mr Littleproud said.

“SIT introduces large numbers of sterilised fruit flies in key areas to stop wild flies breeding.

“Our SITplus program includes work to develop the most attractive fruit fly for native flies.

“These sterile fruit flies, 50 per cent male and 50 per cent female, have been raised to be more attractive to the wild population, showing that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

“These flies are the best ‘singers’, have great endurance, fitness, agility and looks that are irresistible to wild flies looking to breed.

“Among the other SITplus developments is a gel diet to help raise more sterile flies more consistently, work to build up male-only offspring and piloting the National Sterile Insect Facility in Port Augusta, which will produce up to 50 million sterile male Qfly each week when fully operational.

“This full-scale launch follows a successful trial of an aerial release of sterile flies in March. There will be continued releases and further development of the technology.

“SIT is a game changer for Australian horticulture, enabling farmers to reduce their pesticide use, expand their production of high quality crops that are free of Qfly and capitalise on our trade wins.

John Lloyd, chief executive of the grower-owned research and development corporation that initiated the SITPlus initiative, Hort Innovation, said it was a momentous day.

“We have had some of Australia’s leading Queensland fruit fly specialists working on the development of the sterile Qfly and preparations for releases for the past four years,” he said.

“The fruit and vegetable industries have also played a key part in making today happen, with this initiative being backed by citrus, cherries, apple and pear, summerfruit, table grapes, strawberries, and vegetable levies from the start.

“Late last year we saw the creation of the nation’s state-of-the-art production facility, and now to be releasing the first ‘super’ flies from the factory today to respond to an incursion for the first time is a big achievement.”

For more information 
Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd
Level 8, 1 Chifley Square NSW 2000 Australia 
T: 61 2 8295 2300 
F: 61 2 8295 2399 

Publication date: 4/13/2018



Other news in this sector:

4/23/2018 Bring a swirskii army at fighting strength
4/20/2018 US: New biofungicide approved by California
4/19/2018 Preventive learning about pests before experience takes over
4/19/2018 Australia: Vegetable health gets $16M boost
4/19/2018 Rick Antle - A legend in agriculture passes away
4/19/2018 Insect screen - Alternative to chemical control in open field production of carrot and cabbage
4/11/2018 Spain left on its own in EU plant protection discussions
4/10/2018 Veg IPM Update: Allium leaf miner
4/10/2018 US (CA): Isagro announces EPA registration for Taegro 2 biofungicide
4/5/2018 Solution to prevent blotchy ripening in tomatoes
4/4/2018 Kemin Crop Technologies and Plant Products announce new relationship
4/3/2018 NL: "Growers feel restricted in crop protection"
3/30/2018 UK: Bee survival computer model adopted by industry
3/29/2018 New frontier to protect peppers against European corn borer
3/29/2018 Russia: Infected Egyptian strawberries destroyed in Nizhniy Novgorod
3/29/2018 CropLife America emphasizes pesticide safety data transparency
3/29/2018 North America: New fungicide for powdery mildew control
3/28/2018 Fighting spider mite in cannabis cultivation
3/28/2018 US (MA): Botrytis and edible crops
3/28/2018 AmericanHort welcomes Farm Bill pest and disease funding