Advisor perspective: Stanthorpe QLD, March 2019

Advisor name: Andrew Hennoste, Branch Manager/Agronomist, Elders Stanthorpe.

Background: Andrew has a B. Ag. Sci. He completed 10 years with Bugs for Bugs learning about rearing, distribution, and monitoring of biological controls before he joined Elders at Stanthorpe 19 years ago. As Branch Manager/ Agronomist and pest scout, Andrew provides advice and other services to growers, covering about 800 ha of orchards. Andrew is one of several agronomists advising Nicoletti orchards.

What are the main IPDM issues being focussed on in your region?

The main pests causing concern are longtailed mealybugs and spider mites. Codling moth and black spot used to be problematic but are under control at present. Minor problems in the area are LBAM, Alternaria and powdery mildew.

What are you doing currently with IPDM?

I monitor CM with pheromone traps and this season have tried the line trapping method presented by Chris Adams at the IPDM training workshop last October. I use the CM and black spot warning system conducted by QDAF at Applethorpe to help time sprays. Regular monitoring for pests and diseases is conducted with the aim of early detection of possible problems. We have also been releasing biocontrol agents (Cryptolaemus for mealybug and E. californicus against mites)

What has worked well? 

  • CM control with altacor.
  • Black spot control (probably helped by the extreme dry conditions experienced this season)

What hasn’t worked well?

Mealy bug and mite control!

What would you do differently next time?

  • Reduce the early use of some insecticides.
  • Improve timing of both spraying and release of biocontrol agents.
  • Use a broader mix of biologicals.

Any interesting learnings?

Use of biological control agents may require more regular releases. Maybe we are not using the appropriate beneficials. CLIDs may be worth experimenting with next season to get a better handle on mites.

Take home message

Need to take more notice of conditions so we can advise growers early enough for them to get organised and take appropriate action.

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