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National Invertebrate Pest Initiative (NIPI)

The National Invertebrate Pest Initiative brings together Australian scientists to improve pest management in Australian grain crops.

  • 26 August 2008 | Updated 22 November 2013

About NIPI

The National Invertebrate Pest Initiative (NIPI) brings together scientists from state government departments, universities, farmer groups and CSIRO to address pest management issues in the Australian grains industry.

It is supported by growers and the Australian Federal Government through the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

Why NIPI is needed

Invertebrate pests cost Australian agriculture around A$500 million in lost production each year.

A national coordinated, collaborative approach is necessary to increase understanding of invertebrates and develop more effective and sustainable ways of managing them in Australia’s grain crops.

Through NIPI the grains industry will receive clear and consistent messages about effective invertebrate pest management.

What NIPI will do

NIPI participants have identified seven key areas for research and extension:

  • an integrated systems approach to a suite of establishment pests
  • area-wide management options for key pests
  • management options for diamondback moth across production landscapes
  • development of national integrated pest management (IPM) guidelines
  • training farm advisers on pest identification and IPM options
  • quantifying the economic impact of invertebrate pests
  • developing a capacity-building strategy.

NIPI coordinator Dr Nancy Schellhorn, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, says capacity building is especially urgent because of the decline in the number of researchers and postgraduate students focused on pest issues in grains.

NIPI is starting to address the decrease in entomology students coming through the University system by providing funding for a number of post-graduate entomology students.

Achievements so far

An important initiative already in place is a free email information service alerting growers and farm advisers across southern Australia to invertebrate pest issues and solutions.

This service, PestFAX/PestFacts, is delivered by:

"Capacity building is especially urgent because of the decline in the number of researchers and postgraduate students focused on pest issues in grains."

Dr Nancy Schellhorn

  • the Western Australia Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA)
  • the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research (CESAR)
  • the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).

It is already reaching more than 2000 subscribers across:

  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • South Australia
  • Western Australia.

Research projects are underway in New South Wales and Victoria.

Also across the southern region, NIPI funds invertebrate pest identification workshops to provide advisors and growers with the key building blocks for implementing integrated pest management (IPM).

Growers are finding this a good way to find out about the pests they are dealing with when making pest management decisions.

NIPI participants

NIPI participants include:

  • CSIRO:
    • CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences Division
  • state government departments:
    • South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI)
    • Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australian (DAFWA)
    • Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (QDPIF)
    • New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
    • Victorian Department of Primary Industries (VDPI)
  • universities:
    • Centre for Environmental Stress and Adaptation Research (CESAR) - University of Melbourne
    • The University of Adelaide
    • The University of Queensland
    • The University of Western Australia
    • The University of New England.

Read more about invasive pests which threaten Australia's biodiversity.