Orchardist: John Evans
Codling moth, black spot and lightbrown apple moth (LBAM) are under control. Despite the use of chlorpyrifos sprays from early green tip until early pink bud earwigs are still contributing good control of codling moth and wooly apple aphid. The parasitoid wasp Aphelinus mali that attacks wooly apple aphid is still present. The spray program has not caused any mite issues.
To capitalise on the low pest and disease population and attempt to further reduce pesticide use while maintaining effective control and confidence in the approach being taken.
- Establish codling moth traps along the border with neighbour and in a transect parallel to the border traps but through the middle of the orchard
- Remove the large Macrocarpa tree over late autumn/winter and assess changes in dimple bug damage in 2019-20
- Develop some plots, within the orchard, in which some pesticides are 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
- Develop a sampling plan for pest populations and levels of damage, then implement plan
- 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
- John Evans and Stephen Quarrell (Tom) to organise experimental plots, traps, and the monitoring plan/ record sheets
- David Williams to supply pest prediction program
- John and Stephen 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 Stephen 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