Orchardist: Joe Ceravolo
Codling moth, black spot and lightbrown apple moth (LBAM) are under control. Mating disruption is used for codling moth control, but no trapping is used to monitor codling moth populations. Carbaryl used as a thinner has apparently controlled LBAM, looper, and Heliothis (Helicoverpa). Joe has AgXtra doing trials on predators for two-spotted mite, and he is also trying to minimise use of pesticides. The case study block is fully netted using 16mm mesh. Transform has been used against apple dimpling bug (ADB) and wooly apple aphid (WAA). He is concerned that Transform may be causing mite issues and may also have impacted on his Aphelinus mali populations.
To capitalise on the low pest and disease populations and attempt to further reduce pesticide use while maintaining effective control and confidence in the approach being taken.
- Establish codling moth and LBAM traps to determine population levels and monitor trends
- Monitor ADB populations in wattles and other flowering shrubs in the vicinity of the orchard from green tip to assess risk from local ADB populations
- Monitor weather trends, especially movement of fronts from the channel country in Qld, as indicators of potential ADB incursions during pink bud to full bloom
- Develop some plots, within the orchard, in which Transform is not used. Compare populations of pest and beneficial species, and damage levels, in these plots against what is experienced in the treated plots.
- Consider monitoring for budworm and looper activity from pink bud through to 2 weeks after petal fall. Initially look for budworm adults around lights as an indicator, and check flowers for presence of eggs. Eggs are distinctive, with ridging visible with a hand lens and you can also see developing larvae in the eggs as they get closer to hatching
- Work with Mark Staniford to develop a sampling plan for pest populations and levels of damage, then implement plan
- Mark to compare use of cumulative leaf infested days (CLIDs) vs his current mite monitoring
- Install a weather station in the block so that temperature and leaf wetness data and trapping results can be used in a predictive model to guide the need for sprays
- Joe Ceravolo and Mark Staniford to organise experimental plots, traps, and the monitoring plan/ record sheets
- David Williams to supply pest prediction program
- Joe and Mark to work with Paul James to develop a pre-plan for responding to issues that may develop
- Ask an expert facility in IPDM website is available for additional support and expertise
- David and Paul are available for feedback
- Experiments can be stressful, but no useful results will occur unless the participants maintain their nerve
- Stress can be reduced by setting realistic targets that stretch comfort zones without creating major financial risks
- Over-use of chemical applications will create residue issues, pest resistance issues, possible mite flare, and potential health issues for staff
- Stress can be reduced by taking the time to seek expert advice on the problem, either in the planning phase or before the problem gets out of control, rather than making knee-jerk decisions
- Regular assessments of pest and disease populations and damage levels will allow timely changes to approach before significant damage occurs
- Use of prediction models based on local data will provide early indications of potential danger periods