Aug 25

Update on Russian wheat aphid: Presence confirmed in Riverina

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Thursday, August 25, 2016

NSW Department of Primary Industries has confirmed the detection of Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia) in a wheat crop near Rankin Springs in the Riverina region of NSW.

Russian wheat aphid has been deemed as non-eradicable by the National Biosecurity Management Group. Grain growers should be on the lookout for the pest and consider their management options.
Riverina Local Land Services is working closely with NSW Department of Primary Industries Plant Biosecurity & Product Integrity to keep growers and stakeholders informed. DPI is coordinating reports and providing diagnostics.
If you are a grain grower in southern NSW, we encourage you to monitor your crops for aphids and symptoms, and if you suspect the presence of the Russian wheat aphid, take a sample and photos for identification.


Ring the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline - 1800 084 881 to report suspected cases.

For help

If you need help with sampling for Russian wheat aphid please contact Riverina Local Land Services agronomists Lisa Castleman at Wagga Wagga 0427 201 963, Geoff Minchin at Temora 0429 842 489 or Janelle Jenkins at Tumut on 0427 639 947 or your nearest Local Land Services office.

Aphid sampling guidelines

1. Ring the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline – 1800 084 881 to determine where to send samples.
2. Leave aphids on host leaves where possible to reduce damage to aphids during transport.
3. Preferred sampling technique is to ensure plant part and aphid is collected without soil or roots.
4. Package in sealed container eg. plastic takeaway food container or similar and enclose in one or two zip-lock plastic bags and send by Express Post.
5. All samples must be accompanied by a Russian Wheat Aphid diagnostic request form.

Limiting the Spread

To limit the spread of pests and diseases, hygiene is important. It is important to put best-practice biosecurity measures into place to reduce the risk of transport on clothing, footwear, vehicles and machinery when moving between paddocks and farms. In short:
• wear disposable coveralls or change clothing
• wash footwear
• wash vehicles.

Tools available

If you have a confirmed outbreak of Russian wheat aphid, there are tools available to help manage the aphid, including an emergency use permit for specific chemicals issued by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority. Grain growers planning to spray are encouraged to adhere to all general chemical use practices.

Contact us

Call 1300 795 299 to contact your Local Land Services office from Monday to Friday during business hours. You can also email us at




Jun 02

Exotic pest alert - Russian Wheat Aphid

Posted by Cindy Cassidy at Thursday, June 02, 2016

Cereal crop inspections and reporting is being requested in response to the detection of the exotic pest Russian Wheat Aphid (RWA) Diuraphis noxia in South Australia. This is the first report in Australia of this high priority notifiable pest of the grains industry. Cereal hosts include wheat, barley, triticale and oats.
Landholders and agronomists are asked to keep a watchful eye on emerging cereal crops and report any signs of damage or strange pest activity.
Damage symptoms include a noticeable loss of green colouration across the crop, and on closer inspection, stunted plant growth and loss of vigour.
If Russian wheat aphid becomes established, it could have considerable impacts on yield (up to 80% in wheat and 100% in barley) along with other management issues, including unknown insecticide resistance status and varietal response, with current varieties likely to be severely impacted.
In order to determine the extent of distribution of RWA and for further decisions to be made regarding the response, all grain growing states are coordinating surveillance through agronomists, researchers and growers.
What NSW needs to do …
Agronomists, growers and anyone working in cereal crops are asked to specifically look for Russian Wheat Aphid symptoms and report back on a weekly basis for at least the next month via the NSW RWA surveillance reporting sheet.
Negative observation reports are also required, to assist response decision making and as evidence that inspections have been made. If aphids or symptoms are found, they need to be immediately reported through the EPP Hotline (1800 084 881), which directly goes to Department of Primary Industries in Orange. Timely reporting of this pest if found in NSW will increase the chance of containment and minimise its spread.
Resources explaining hosts, associated symptoms and features of Russian Wheat Aphid to aid in surveillance can also be downloaded below.

Exotic Pest Alert Russian Wheat Aphid Identification and Associated Damage.pdf

NSW RWA Surveillance fact sheet.pdf

Russian wheat aphid surveillance reporting sheet.pdf