Home' Grower : April 2010 Contents The South Australian Grower -- April 2010 1 3
AN integrated pest management system
developed in South Australia to control Kelly's
citrus thrips has not only brought the pest under
control but has resulted in significant water savings and
increases in fruit yield and size of up to 60 per cent.
KCT is a key pest of citrus in the Riverland,
Sunraysia and Riverina regions, as well as in parts of
Western Australia. Feeding on developing fruit, KCT
causes scurfing and rind bleaching, reducing the
quantity out of export quality fruit and leaving some
fruit unable to be sold. The current control regimes
rely heavily on the application of organophosphate
insecticides, and are becoming less and less effective
as KCT develop resistance to organophosphates.
South Australian Research and Development
Institute researchers Greg Baker and Peter Crisp
believe the IPM control method developed through
the project, using green compost to create a five
centimetre layer of top soil, is transferable to other
crops and similar results have been observed in
lettuce, onion and almond crops.
"It was excellent that we controlled the thrips, but
the real bonus was the yield gains and water
saving," Dr Crisp said.
"We attribute a lot of our gain to improved soil
moisture holding capacity. If you're irrigating weekly
in summer we estimate you can stretch it out by two
additional days using green compost. These findings
are likely to benefit other perennial fruit and nut tree
crops as well -- we're keen to talk to other industries
about the findings."
While the cost of building a 5cm layer of top soil
from green compost is not cheap at $50 per cubic
metre, a benefit cost analysis shows that through
increasing yield and fruit size and achieving better
pack outs, growers could expect a 500pc return over
Funded by Horticulture Australia Limited using the
citrus levy, voluntary contributions from industry and
matched funds from the Federal Government, the
latest project builds on previous work funded by HAL
over the past 12 years.
In earlier projects soil-dwelling predatory mites
were identified as a potential biological control for
KCT and the latest work showed that compost
treatments containing predatory mites could be used
to reduce KCT damage.
The emergence of adult KCT from soil under trees
treated with composted green waste was 50pc less in
the first year and 90pc less in the second year
compared to untreated soils. The greater reduction in
the second year indicates that the effect is cumulative
and would provide long-term control of KCT.
The additional benefits included:
• Higher moisture levels could be maintained in
delivers yield jump
the top 5cm of soil, providing the ability to
reduce irrigation without compromising fruit
yield or tree health
• Significantly higher nitrogen levels leading to
yield increases of up to 60pc through both
increased fruit size and density.
Compost treatments used in this project
included recycled green waste, grape mark and
animal manure. The benefits achieved through
green recycled waste were more robust and
long-term than the other composts used.
The outcomes from the project have been
progressively communicated to the citrus
industry through Cittgroups, regional citrus
boards and the SARDI website. A best practice
guide is available from the Citrus Australia,
regional citrus board and SARDI websites.
Details: HAL horticulture.com.au
Using an integrated peat management system to fight Kelly's citrus thrips has delivered yield
increases of up to 60 per cent.
Enviromist spray system saved PJ & PA Hawe's
macadamia farm in Electra, Bundaberg
Queensland in excess of $29 per hectare
on every application.
Using the Enviromist combo, Pat uses his ATV to spray 12.5km of
macadamia tree rows with just 80L of mixture using 8 litres of glyphosate in
2.5 hours. Previous to buying his Enviromist, Pat used a tractor, 3000 litres
of mixture, 30 litres of glyphosate and took 8 hours to do the same job.
Benefits using an Enviromist spray system:
• Huge gains in productivity AND reduction in costs
• No drift, use in windy conditions that may stop standard
• Operate at faster speeds, fewer fill-ups -- more spraying
• Operating costs of ATV much lower than for tractor
Contact us to see how we can help reduce your input costs!
Telephone 1800 624 044 or 08 8582 4077 | E. email@example.com
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