World-First Precision Pest Management Solution

Queensland-based innovator RapidAIM is leading a groundbreaking project in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology and BASF Australia Ltd. The project, supported by Advance Queensland's Industry Research Projects program with more than $500,000 in funding, aims to revolutionise pest control through the development of a world-first, precision-based approach. This innovation holds significant promise for bolstering Queensland’s agricultural sector, a crucial pillar of the state’s economy.

Building on a Proven Track Record

RapidAIM has already established itself as a leader in automated pest detection with its successful deployment of more than 1,100 low-cost sentinel devices across eastern Australia. These devices provide real-time, accurate detection of priority biosecurity threats, empowering growers to implement time-sensitive, targeted management strategies.

Enhancing Precision with Targeted Control

This new project takes precision a step further by leveraging the expertise of BASF Australia Ltd. The project will integrate registered and proven chemical and biological pesticides from BASF, enabling the automated and precise dissemination of targeted controls immediately upon pest detection.

Addressing a Global Challenge

The demand for effective and targeted biosecurity threat management is significant and growing on a global scale. Queensland's agricultural sector, particularly in cotton, grains, and horticulture, has a long-standing reputation for excellence in integrated resistance management strategies. These strategies, developed over the past 25 years, have established an international benchmark for best practices, promoting sustainable pest management, reduced reliance on chemical controls, and increased profitability for growers.

Combating New Threats with Innovation

These mega-pests including armyworms, budworms, and bollworms are some of the most globally destructive. Recent incursions, like the rapid spread of fall armyworm, pose a significant threat. Fall armyworm, has the potential to necessitate widespread use of broad-spectrum insecticides, jeopardising the progress made in sustainable practices.

The economic impact on Queensland could be devastating, with estimates suggesting individual growers have faced cost increases ranging from $2,000 per week to $800-$1,200 per hectare, where they used to spend $100 per hectare, compared to pre-armyworm levels. Industry-wide losses could mount rapidly.

A World-First Solution for Fall Armyworm and Beyond

This project offers a groundbreaking solution specifically for fall armyworm, with the potential to address other significant pest threats. The proposed system provides an autonomous, innovative, and effective precision management solution. It includes a world-first targeted approach for adult moths, preventing reproduction and enabling effective monitoring and management to prevent outbreaks.

The Potential Impact

This project has the potential to significantly impact the agricultural sector by:

  • Reducing reliance on broad-spectrum insecticides, promoting a more sustainable approach.
  • Increasing profitability for growers through targeted pest management.
  • Minimising the environmental impact of pest control.
  • Offering a world-first, targeted solution for fall armyworm and other pests.

Collaborative Strength

This project exemplifies the power of collaboration between innovative Queensland businesses, leading research institutions, and Advance Queensland's Industry Research Projects. By working together, these entities can create solutions that address critical agricultural challenges and pave the way for a more sustainable and economically robust future for Queensland.

About Industry Research Projects

Industry Research Projects supports researchers and industry to collaborate to translate research outcomes into commercialisation opportunities.

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Last updated 31 May, 2024
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