Case Study update: Geeveston TAS, March 2019

Orchardist: John Evans, Geeveston TAS

What are the main IPDM issues being focussed on?

John feels he has no major pest and disease problems but he still focuses on scab (black spot), codling moth, native bud worm (Heliothis/ Helicoverpa), and Dimple bug as potential threats that need to be addressed.

What are you doing currently with IPDM?

  • Experimented with line trapping for codling moth as a result of the workshop presentation by Chris Adams.
  • Working with neighbours to reduce potential influx of codling moth.
  • Protecting populations of earwigs and Aphelinus mali by modifying the rate and timing of sprays that may impact these important predators.

What has worked well?

Everything has worked well, despite limitations imposed by climate, topography and fires. John is currently using systemic fungicides as protectants rather than relying on kick-backs, because in wet weather it is not always possible to apply a kick-back within the necessary time frame. One positive to come from the recent nearby bush fire is that his fruit were coated with ash which appears to have enhanced fruit skin quality.

What hasn’t worked well?

There were no issues, but John did recognise that reliance on some of his current pesticides leaves him vulnerable if they are deregistered.

What would you do differently next time?

  • Continue to experiment with line trapping for monitoring codling moth, to get a better picture of distribution in the orchard and size of population.
  • Install an additional weather station to provide localized data that can be fed into a prediction model for CM, LBAM and scab.
  • Try to further reduce pesticides by improving timing
  • Remove the Macrocarpa tree that is probably supporting Dimple bug over winter

Take home message

Chill out a bit if everything is going well, but do not stop doing things properly. Look after the beneficials that are working in your favour.

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