Orchardist: Daniel Nicoletti
Codling moth and black spot are under control via chemical sprays timed according to monitoring of moth numbers in traps and weather conditions affecting disease infection periods. Mites and mealybugs have become major problems. This could be due to pesticide resistance or side effects on beneficials.
To reduce pest status of mites and mealybugs, without causing outbreaks of codling moth, within the next two seasons.
- Investigate comparison between current mite monitoring interpretation and use of cumulative leaf infested days (CLIDs)
- Investigate impact of introducing Chilean predator mite P.persimilis in autumn to clean up mite populations
- Investigate/implement mealybug monitoring program to better indicate when crawlers move out onto foliage and fruit and therefore be more susceptible to sprays.
- Develop plots in orchard where some potentially disruptive chemicals are removed and compare these to areas where those chemicals were retained
- Develop sampling plan for pest populations and levels of damage, then implement plan
- Andrew Hennoste to maintain monitoring records and provide analysis to Daniel on weekly basis for the case study block
- Daniel and Andrew to develop a pre-plan for the case study block, covering potential scenarios and appropriate responses
- Peter Nimmo and David Williams are available for feedback
- Ask an expert facility in IPDM website is available for additional support and expertise
- 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