Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Getting Ready Early the Answer to Onion Thrip

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Getting Ready Early the Answer to Onion Thrip

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew korner andrew.korner@qt.com.au

MICHAEL Rieck is new to the onion business but not to the risks involved in growing to make a living.

The second-generation Kalbar farmer was one of 50 Queensland producers to attend a conference discussing the latest research on onion thrip in Gatton recently.

The thrip is a tenacious little insect which has taken hold in South Australia and could threaten this state's $30 million industry if not controlled.

Mr Rieck said the Fassifern Valley, where he ran a 40-acre farm, was lucky in that it was somewhat isolated from the problem.

But he said nobody was immune.

"For us it's more that we are trying to anticipate the threat," Mr Rieck said.

"In some places they've been battling thrip a while now and they just weren't able to control the population."

Thrip attacks in the weeks leading up to the September harvest, when bulbs start to appear on the plant.

They suck at the plant, leaving a scar through which diseases can take hold. …

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