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biocontrol

Mycodiplosis larvae could be used as biocontrol for rust fungi © Malcolm Storey 2012, bioimages.org.uk

MAY 27, 2015 BY CLAIRE CURRY LEAVE A COMMENT
Mycodiplosis larvae could be used as biocontrol for rust fungi © Malcolm Storey 2012, bioimages.org.uk
Mycodiplosis larvae could be used as biocontrol for rust fungi © Malcolm Storey 2012, bioimages.org.uk
We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of rosemary leaf spot caused by Nigrospora oryzae in Iran, one new species and six new records of Thripinae from bamboo in Malaysia and a new record of Mycodiplosis sp. as a potential biocontrol agent of Phakospora ampelopsidis.
Click on the links to view the abstracts:
Presence of Gea heptagon (Hentz) and new records of Argiope from Argentina with the description of a new species Argiope kaingang (Araneae: Araneidae).
Corronca, J. A.; Rodriguez-Artigas, S. M. (2015) Pakistan Journal of Zoology 47 (1): 147-152.
First report of rosemary leaf spot caused by Nigrospora oryzae in Iran.
Zarandi, D. M.; Aminaee, M. M.; Sharzei, A.; Rezaee, S. (2014) New Disease Reports 30: 27.
Species of Thripinae (Thysanoptera) from bamboo in Malaysia, with one new species and six new records.
Ng, Y. F.; Mound, L. A. (2015) Zootaxa 3918 (4): 492-502.
First report of Alternaria alternata on Chenopodium album L. from India.
Ramanuj Patel; Deepika Patel; Pandey, A. K. (2014) Biological Forum 6 (2) 150-152.
Three new species of Anatkina young (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae: Cicadellini) from China, with a key and checklist of known Chinese species of the genus.
Yang MaoFa; Meng ZeHong; Yu XiaoFei (2015) Zootaxa 3919 (3):479-492.
First Indochinese records of the plant bug genus Hypseloecus Reuter (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae: Pilophorini), with descriptions of eight new species from Thailand.
Yasunaga, T.; Yamada, K.; Artchawakom, T. (2015) Zootaxa 3925 (1): 75-93.
First report of Moko disease caused by Ralstonia solanacearum race 2 in plantain (Musa AAB) in Ecuador.
Delgado, R.; Morillo, E.; Buitrón, J.; Bustamante, A.; Sotomayor, I. (2014) New Disease Reports 30: 23.
New record of Mycodiplosis sp. (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) as a potential biocontrol agent of Phakospora ampelopsidis Dietel & P. Syd. from Taiwan.
Chen ShuPei; Su JiunnFeng (2015) Plant Protection Bulletin (Taipei) 57 (1): 19-24.
A faunistic study on the leafhoppers of northwestern Iran (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae).
Abdollahi, T.; Jalalizand, A. R.; Mozaffarian, F.; Wilson, M. (2015) ZooKeys 496: 27-51.
First report of phytoplasmas associated with Erysimum linifolium stunting.
Paltrinieri, S.; Contaldo, N.; Bertaccini, A.; Bellardi, M. G.; Cavicchi, L.; Blystad, D. R.; Spetz, C.; Fløistad, E. (2015) Acta Horticulturae 1072:117-121.
To view all search results for new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases, click here
If there’s another new record you’d like to highlight, please post a comment.

http://blog.plantwise.org/2015/05/27/update-new-pest-disease-records-27-may-15/

rijk-zwaan-logo

http://www.rijkzwaan.com/wps/wcm/connect/rz+corporate/rijk+zwaan/news+and+events/news/news+items/new+race+of+downy+mildew+in+lettuce+receives+official+designation

letrijk

The International Bremia Evaluation Board (IBEB) has officially designated a new race of downy mildew in lettuce: Bl:32. This isolate was already known, but has now become much more widespread in Europe, according to research by the IBEB into the Bremia isolates identified in 2014 and earlier. Most outbreaks of Bremia caused by these new isolates have only local consequences. In recent years, however, Bl:32 has been identified in France, Germany, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, and it has recently also spread to Portugal and northern Spain.

The large majority of Rijk Zwaan’s Bl:16-31-resistant varieties are also resistant to this new race.

For more information, visit www.rijkzwaan.com

Publication date: 5/20/2015

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries

Field Guide

 

Cover of the Field Guide to Pests, Beneficials, Diseases and Disorders of Vegetables in northern Australia

This field guide provides easy and quick access to text and images to assist with the identification of pests and disease symptoms in the field. Correct identification of pests, beneficials, diseases and disorders is important in helping to minimise crop damage and when considering management options. The guide provides descriptions, life cycles and biology, monitoring and pest management.
This field guide is an invaluable resource for primary producers, researchers, extension staff and students. It is available in both English and Vietnamese printed versions or can be downloaded below.
How to get a copy of the Field Guide

1. Download a PDF Version of the Field Guide
English Print version PDF – 14.8MB | Online version PDF – 90.1 MB
Vietnamese PDF 6.7MB
2. Request a printed version
tel: 08 8999 2258 or email haidee.brown@nt.gov.au
About the Field Guide

This publication is the first comprehensive field guide to pests, beneficials, diseases and disorders of commercially grown vegetables in the Northern Territory. The information has been derived from more than 20 years research and extension experience with commercial vegetable crops by staff of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Horticulture, within the Plant Industries Group, Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries. The vegetable field guide is a useful resource for primary producers, researchers, extension staff and students.
The format of the book has been designed to provide easy and quick access to assist in the recognition of pests, diseases or symptoms in the field. Each opening includes text on the left page and photographs on the right page. The tabs along the right edge are labelled and colour-coded, making it easier to navigate.
Due to regular updates and changes in the recommendations of pesticides, specific products have not been listed. However, growers are encouraged to contact Department staff if they require assistance with pest or disease management.
Information regarding pesticide registrations is available from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) website.
A comprehensive Agvet chemical database is available free online from Infopest which is owned and managed by Growcom.
Monitoring and Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Growers are encouraged to use this guide as a resource to assist in the identification of pests and their natural enemies as well as diseases and disorders when monitoring vegetable crops. Correct identification of pests and diseases is important when considering management options. Integrated pest management (IPM) is the management of pest populations using all relevant control practices in a complementary manner, so that the pest will be maintained below the economic injury level and adverse effects to the environment will be minimal. When diseases are incorporated, IPM is referred to as integrated pest and disease management (IPDM).
The majority of vegetables are grown over the ‘dry season’ (May to September) and many pests and diseases are suited to the dry and warm conditions with mean temperatures in the range of 15-36°C (for the Darwin area). The ‘build-up’ to the wet season starts in September and higher temperatures and humidity is generally experienced. Most of the rainfall occurs in the ‘wet season’ between October to April.
This guide provides descriptions, life cycles and biology along with colour photographs to help recognise and distinguish pests from beneficials (which includes natural enemies that attack pests as well as pollinators). Since beneficials help regulate the levels of pests, it is important to monitor pest numbers to assess the level of natural control by predators or parasites before considering other pest management options. Regular monitoring of the crop will assist in the detection of pests and diseases, as well as providing an indication of the change in populations or spread of symptoms.
Departmental contact information

Entomology (pests and beneficials)
Telephone: 08 8999 2258
Email: insectinfo@nt.gov.au
Plant Pathology (plant diseases and disorders)
Telephone: 08 8999 2265
Email: plant.pathology@nt.gov.au
Horticulture (growing advice)
Telephone: 08 8999 2222
Email: horticulture@nt.gov.au

http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Primary_Industry/index.cfm?header=Vegetable%20Field%20Guide

icipe

AfricanInsect Science for Food and Health

http://www.icipe.org/index.php/news/942-eating-the-desert-locust-reduces-the-risk-of-heart-disease.html

Press Release

21 May 2015

Eating the meat of the desert locust could be good for your heart, says a study conducted jointly by icipe, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS).

In a paper published in PLOS ONE journal on 13 May 2015, the researchers show that the desert locust, known scientifically as Schistocerca gregaria, contains a rich composition of compounds known as sterols, which in turn have cholesterol-lowering properties, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.

As icipe scientist, Prof. Baldwyn Torto, explains, sterols occur naturally in plants, animals and fungi. The sterols from plants are called phytosterols and those from animals are known as zoosterols. Cholesterol is the most familiar type of animal sterol. Phytosterols and cholesterol have a common target of getting absorbed in the intestines. However, phytosterols have been shown to have a competitive advantage, as they are able to block the absorption of cholesterol.  Although vegetables are generally the richest sources of phytosterols, insects have the potential to supply these useful compounds to people.

“In our study we found that, as is the case in other insects, cholesterol is the major tissue sterol in desert locusts. However, we observed that after the desert locust has fed on a vegetative diet, most of the common phytosterols are amplified and new ones are also produced in its tissues. In turn, this leads to a high phytosterol content, which suggests that eating desert locusts could reduce cholesterol levels,” explains Prof. Torto.

He adds that aside from cardiovascular protective effects, the researchers also found the desert locust to have a wealth of other nutrients, including proteins, fatty acids and minerals, which are beneficial for anti-inflammatory, anticancer and also have immune regulatory effects. As such, the desert locust is an excellent source of dietary components for both humans and animals.

The findings by icipe are redeeming for the desert locust, which is probably more reputed for its alarming threat to food security, for instance, through outbreaks in the Sahel region of Africa, which have been known to destroy land and crops, leaving hunger and poverty in their wake.

“We hope that our findings will refocus the research on the desert locust in a new emerging dimension; its potential as a component in food and nutritional security in Africa. Despite its negative image, the desert locust is already consumed in many regions in Africa and Asia. As icipe has proven over the years, the desert locust is extremely easy to rear, meaning that it could either be domesticated on a small-scale, or even produced through commercial ventures”, concludes Prof. Torto.

Xavier Cheseto, a PhD researcher in icipe‘s Behavioural and Chemical Ecology Unit (BCEU), and Matthew Miti, a technician in the Animal Rearing and Containment Unit, discuss progress of locusts being reared at the Centre.

 


Notes for Editors

The study was conducted as part of icipe’s new Insects for Food and Feed research theme. Globally, issues surrounding population growth, urbanisation, climate change, diminishing land and water resources, over- and under-nutrition, and persistent poverty, have aggravated food insecurity, especially in developing countries. Against this background, the use of insects as alternative sources of food for human consumption and feed for livestock, has captured the imagination of the global research and donor community. Insects satisfy three important requirements: they are an important source of protein and other nutrients; their use as food has ecological advantages over conventional meat and, in the long run, economic benefits for mass production as animal feed and human food, and they are also a rich source of drugs for modern medicine.

Publication Details

  • Funding: This research was funded through the icipe Dissertation Research Internship Program (DRIP) and USDA/ARS- Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology.
  • Title: “The Potential of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (Orthoptera: Acrididae) as an unconventional source of dietary and therapeutic sterols”, available at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127171
  • Corresponding author: Prof. Baldwyn Torto, btorto@icipe.org, +254 20 863200

Media Contacts

 

 

daily star logo-black 12:00 AM, May 14, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:27 AM, May 16, 2015

Although the overall mango production is likely to be good in the northern region, the production in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts may be hampered by unfavourable weather this year. The farmers in the two districts are concerned as a large number of green mangoes have been torn from the trees by the recent nor’westers and hailstorms. The unfavourable weather follows the earlier attack by leaf hoppers which had caused many green mangoes to fall before ripening properly. Farmers told the news agency that the dropping of green mangoes would reduce production, particularly in the two districts. Dr Alim Uddin, principal scientific officer of Fruit Research Station, agreed that the production of mangoes would be slightly less than expected, but not considerably because mango trees remain unaffected by bad weather in many other parts of the region. “Mango production will not be satisfactory in my area this year as almost 70 percent of the fruits fell from the trees before ripening,” said Nurul Islam, a farmer from Shibganj upazila in Chapainawabganj. He said mango trees in his area had initially blossomed well, but many of the mangoes had become victims of the attack by leaf hoppers caused by sultry weather from March 15 to 30. “We are cursed with Moha this year,” said Nurul. Horticulturists explained that Moha is a kind of disease that appears in the form of mould on leaves. It happens especially when the mist shrouds the nature during summer nights, another change in the weather pattern. They said adequate rainfall could save mango trees from this kind of diseases. The mango growers of Chapainawabganj and Rajshahi are worried as the number of trees bearing fruits is inadequate. The farmer said they generally used insecticides once a season but they were forced to apply it three times this year, but there was no impact. Shariful Islam, a mango trader of Lalbag village in Godagari upazila, said mango production was likely to suffer a setback this year due to unfavourable weather. The annual average mango production is about five lakh tonnes from over 45,000 hectares of land in eight districts under Rajshahi division including Chapainwabganj where mango grows on 22,000 hectares of land while it is about 8,500 hectares in Rajshahi. The unexpected sultry weather due to change in climate caused mangoes to drop prematurely, said agriculturist Dr Saifur Rahman. Most mango growers in the two mango producing districts have used pesticides and other chemicals at least 20 times for “protection and better yield”. Excessive use of toxic chemicals in the country’s mango producing zone is posing a serious threat to public health as well as to environment and wildlife.

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/norwesters-moha-disease-affect-rajshahi-cnawabganj-dists-mango-production-82197

The Des Moines Register

Ash borfer 1

Ash trees infested with Emerald Ash Borers on private property are the responsibility of the property owner, area experts explain how to spot ash borers and what steps to take to protect your trees during a news conference on April 16, 2015. Kelsey Kremer/The Register

The emerald ash borer is here, and its destruction will be widespread and costly — for cities, residents and the state.

The expected loss of millions of ash trees across Iowa will cost $2.5 billion over the next two decades in higher energy expenses from lost shade, rising stormwater retention costs and reduced property values, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources estimates.

Altogether, about 3 million ash trees are scattered across cities in Iowa and another 52 million ashes are in rural woodland areas.

“Most people don’t really think about the value of their trees until they’re gone,” said John Griffiths, an arborist at Wright Outdoor Solutions in West Des Moines. He was among state and local experts who gathered Thursday at Gray’s Lake to talk about the invasion of the emerald beetle into central Iowa.

RELATED:

What you need to know about the emerald ash borer
Ash borer arrives in Dallas County
As ash borer spreads, towns sacrifice canopy
Shots may save WDM trees from ash borer
Preventing the emerald ash borer’s spread
The tree-killing pest was discovered in the southeast corner of Dallas County, officials reported this week. And even though the emerald ash borer hasn’t been found in Polk County, “it’s safe to presume it’s likely already here,” Jonathan Gano, Des Moines public works director, said Thursday.

The insect, which is native to Asia and eastern Russia, has been confirmed in 21 counties across Iowa. And it has Des Moines and other metro area officials scrambling to treat and remove ash trees before the bugs overrun the metro area.

Todd Voss and Mike Kintner, of the Iowa DepartmentTodd Voss and Mike Kintner, of the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship pulls back the bark of an ash tree branch to point out emerald ash borer galleries during a news conference announcing the confirmation of the ash borer being found in Dallas County on Thursday, April 16, 2015 held at Gray’s Lake.
Todd Voss and Mike Kintner, of the Iowa Department Emerald ash borer galleries in an ash tree branch during An emerald ash borer larvae was found under the bark Laura Jesse, Iowa State University extension entomologist Craig Hertel talks to Mike Kintner, Iowa Department Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land An emerald ash borer larvae was found under the bark Emerald ash borer galleries in an ash tree branch during Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Emerald ash borer galleries in an ash tree branch during An Emerald ash borer and ash borer larvae are placed Emerald ash borer identification guides were available Jonathan Gano, public works director for the city of Jonathan Gano, public works director for the city of Donald Lewis, Professor and Extension Entomologist

Gano said the city is pushing ahead with its $10 million, 10-year plan to remove and treat ash trees. The city will remove about 800 trees this fiscal year and will begin treating 2,500 trees in May.

Widespread devastation anticipated

Nearly all of Des Moines’ neighborhoods will get hit, based on a citywide inventory.

The emerald ash borer will be devastating to some neighborhoods, wiping out trees that shade homes and yards, Griffiths said. It will be especially tough for people who have an emotional connection to the trees.

“They tell me stories about planting them when their child was born, or their mother or father died,” he said. “It’s where they played or swung on a swing.”

Imgur
At least 80 percent of the trees that line the streets of Brook Run neighborhood in northeast Des Moines are ashes. City officials marked more than 200 of them last year for removal, which started in the fall.

“For one reason or another a whole bunch of ash trees were planted, and now it’s almost like we’re taking a step back to the beginning of the neighborhood with all these tiny trees,” said Tim Stiles, president of the Brook Run Neighborhood Association.

Stiles said other varieties of trees will be planted this year. “People are disappointed. We were supposed to have a mix (of trees) so that this wouldn’t happen.”

Big cost to homeowners

A big part of the financial burden of the emerald ash borer epidemic will fall to homeowners and businesses, officials said.

In Des Moines, for example, between 100,000 to 120,000 ash trees lie on private property. About 47,000 ash trees sit on public property.

Gano, the Des Moines public works director, said it’s less costly for landowners to treat ash trees than to let them die and have them removed.

Treatment could cost a couple hundred dollars every two years, depending on the tree’s size.

Removing a tree, though, can cost between $800 and $1,200, said Gano and others.

The first step for homeowners is to determine if the tree is healthy enough to save, he said.

Waiting can cost homeowners considerably more as the tree becomes brittle and more dangerous to fell. “The sooner these trees come down, the better it will be for the pocketbook,” Gano said.

Beginning in July, Des Moines will remove another 800 to 1,000 trees. Replacing them is part of the city’s regular forestation plan. To get on that list, Des Moines residents need to request that the city replace lost ash trees, Gano said.

IAsh borer 2
The emerald ash borer has now been identified in 21 Iowa counties. (Photo: DNR/Special to the Register)
Without treatment, ash trees will die.

“It’s not 100 percent mortality, but it’s knocking on the door of 100 percent,” said Griffiths, the Wright Outdoor Solutions arborist.

He said the West Des Moines business received about 100 calls about the pest Thursday. Before the discovery of the emerald ash borer in central Iowa, the company received a couple of calls a day.

“It’s almost overwhelming,” Griffiths said. The company has added workers to treat trees and expects to hire more.

Impact expected to vary

Some communities that are especially heavily wooded, such as Johnston, could feel a real blow.

About 18 percent of the trees in Johnston’s public spaces are ashes, according to city officials. The density in several neighborhoods is even higher, with 2,000 ash trees on city property and hundreds more on private property.

Some younger, neighboring cities may have fewer ash trees to treat or remove.

West Des Moines has roughly 1,150 ash trees on city property, and Waukee has less than 300, say city officials.

The emerald ash borer’s confirmed arrival was less than 100 yards from the West Des Moines city border and not much farther from Waukee, said John Olds, West Des Moines’ urban forestry supervisor.

Olds said the incident this week doesn’t change the city’s treatment plans.

“We were just moving right along like it was here,” Olds said, noting the close threat with sightings in Jasper and Story counties.

A preserved specimen of the emerald ash borer liesA preserved specimen of the emerald ash borer lies on top of a piece of bark one of the insects has inhabited, leaving grooves on the inside layer. (Photo: MARY CHIND/THE REGISTER)

A preserved specimen of the emerald ash borer lies The inside layer from a piece of ash bark shows the A preserved specimen of the emerald ash borer lies des.alt0101ashborerhole.jpg des.alt0101ashborer.jpg Cities across the country are looking for ways to combat Emerald Ash borer Tracks from emerald ash borers left in a black ash

West Des Moines allocated $240,000 to treat and remove ash trees this fiscal year and slightly less for the coming year. Waukee only recently completed an ash-tree inventory and plans to implement an emerald ash borer management plan this spring.

So far, Burlington and Waterloo have been hit the hardest by the emerald ash borer’s march across the state, said Mike Kintner, an Iowa Department of Agriculture employee who is coordinating the state’s response to the emerald ash borer.

Millions of trees lost nationally

Nationally, the pest has destroyed an estimated 50 million to 100 million ash trees.

The driving force behind public decisions, said Kintner, is a desire to protect residents and property from infected trees. They can die within two years.

“It can be a huge liability,” he said. “Prioritizing trees is generally what we’ve seen cities do.”

Todd Derifield, Waterloo’s city forester, said the city has removed about 700 ash trees since the insect was discovered a year ago. Typically, it removes about 150 trees annually.

Derifield said he worries about keeping pace with the beetle’s destruction.

“I don’t know how fast those little critters are going to work,” he said. “I’m concerned we may reach a point at some time where the trees are dying faster than we can remove them.”

Learn more

To find out how your neighborhood will be affected, go to: maps.dmgov.org/EXTmapcenter/maps/AshTreeNeighborhoodMapBook.pdf.

Des Moines’ plan

Des Moines plans to focus on about 13,000 “high impact” ash trees near streets, buildings, parking lots and parks that pose a liability to the public and to property.

About 7,200 ash trees would be removed under the plan, and another 5,800 would be treated with a special chemical to kill the invasive beetle.

The remaining 34,000 ash trees are in natural areas and will be left to die and fall on their own.

State quarantine

Iowa is under a statewide quarantine that restricts the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nurseries. The state recommends that Iowans use firewood from local sources to restrict the spread of the pest.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2015/04/16/emerald-ash-borer-marches-across-iowa/25880831/

Queensland Country Life

2125810

WHEN MacKay Estates decided to move into papaya production in 2007, the company was starting with a clean slate in new fields previously producing sugarcane.

From the beginning, the business adopted the integrated crop management strategies they had in place in its banana business, developed over many years in conjunction with Total Grower Services.

This involves maximising soil health to use the natural nitrogen and phosphorus supply to the crop by using Petrik Soil Technology products within the production system, and the use of beneficial predatory insects wherever possible to replace chemical control.

The management team has become known for thinking long term, and consistently running trials for new approaches to maximise the productivity and quality of its production system – all while minimising its environmental footprint.

When Anita Davina of Total Grower Services suggested the plantation become involved in a trial for a recently developed egg parasitoid for fruit-spotting bug, the MacKay family was immediately on board.

Fruit-spotting bug (FSB) is the major insect pest of papaya and a number of other tropical and subtropical crops.

Control is generally reliant upon chemicals. In many cases, these control measures also impact on predators of mites, resulting in a spray cycle and increased miticide use.

Richard Llewellyn of BioResources began work on FSB in 2010, starting with a Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) voluntary contributor project to look at the options for the biocontrol of FSB.

This work then merged with the HAL FSB Multi-Industry project. Anastatus wasp, an egg parasitoid, was selected as the best option.

In fact, much work had been done by Harry Faye at DPI Mareeba in the 1990s that showed the potential of the wasp, but at the time, mass rearing was deemed too difficult.

The game-changer was when Mr Llewellyn found that the Chinese had been rearing Anastatus using silkworm eggs for many decades.

Mr Llewellyn established links with the Chinese producers, and was subsequently able to import silkworm eggs and mass rear Anastatus in large numbers for release on farms.

Mr Llewellyn said the Anastatus was not a quick fix – something the experience of the Reblo papaya production team has found.

Anastatus have been released in the surrounding scrub around the blocks for the past 18 months where the majority of the FSB breed.

Initially there was no difference in FSB activity, but over time it has declined.

To this point in the 2014-15 season, at this time of year when FSB activity is at its peak, the Mackays have still not treated for the pest in the majority of blocks – the only exception being one spot spray required in a young block.

The parasitoid wasps are often seen in the fields along with other beneficials such as the assassin bug – another predator previously rarely seen in crop – as sprays to control FSB impact on this predator.

Total Grower Services director of agronomy Shane Fitzgerald said the improved control happened gradually.

“The fields are monitored for plant health, productivity, and insect, mite and predator numbers weekly,” he said.

“The Mackay family already embrace a number of significant environmental initiatives using a Petrik soil inoculant, which solubilises phosphorus and allows them to significantly reduce nitrogen rates.

“Plant health is also maximised by optimising the soil nutrition. The combination of these has ensured the plantation is relatively free from phytophera root and fruit rot, which is another major production limitation across the industry.”

Mite control is achieved using P Californicus, another beneficial insect sourced from Paul Jones at Bugs for Bugs.

“All these environmental initiatives are achieved with the strictest quality control on packed fruit, ensuring only blemish-free fruit is marketed as the Reblo brand,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

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