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Wheat pest found in SA "can't be eradicated"

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A toxic pest that’s been found in South Australian cereal crops cannot be eradicated, agricultural authorities say.

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The Russian wheat aphid, which poses a major threat to the state’s $1.6 billion grain industry, has been found at a number of sites in SA’s mid-north – the first time it has been reported in Australia.

State and federal agricultural bodies have conceded they’re unable to eradicate the pest and will focus on early detection and management.

According to Primary Industries and Regions SA, Russian wheat aphid is found in all major cereal production regions around the world. Until this month, it had never been detected in Australia.

The pest injects toxins into cereal plants, retarding growth and killing the plant. Affected plants will show whitish, yellow and red leaf markings and rolling leaves.

– with AAP

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