There have been major hatchings of Red legged Earth Mite on the 20 – 21st of May.
This is some new data that has been released by CSEAR – a research team that look into the outbreaks of insects in Victoria.
Both Ash and I have found them in all the paddocks that we have looked at and have found a fair bit of damage on new plantings and established plants. On established plants you will see the white ghosting of the leaf where the insect has sucked out all the internals of the leaf and left the outer casing.
There are some reports that the numbers can get up to 10,000 per square metre – seems excessive to me but there can be heaps.
Damage is not just restricted to clover – newly planted pasture will have the typical drooping of the leaf as it emerges – with the tip dead. Cereal leaf will have a nip out of the side of the leaf – outer edge of this goes black.
Each leaf that is chewed will restrict the development of the plant and therefore delay the ability to graze the pasture. In the worst case it will cause death of the plant.
We would recommend that you use Danadim as it is the only one that has a low odour and better safety profile.
Still not sure? Drop in and we can provide you with more information.