CROP PROTECTION

The Crop Protection research program was productive and a variety of applied and basic research involving plant pathology, nematology and entomology was undertaken.

A number of projects were completed during the 2013/14 season – they include basic and applied research on fruit flies. Hans Hugo completed two studies on ring nematode biology and two plant pathology projects were completed. A number of projects will end in December 2014, they include applied research on codling moth egg  parasitoids and pheromone disruption. The projects cover a wide range of topics and include both pre and post-harvest research.  A number of the running projects have been delayed due to a variety of reasons. However, good progress has been made overall.  Entomology projects address a wide range of issues including applied research on Bactrocera invadens, the invasive fruit fly. Research on this invasive insect is regarded as critical as the insect poses a significant threat to the deciduous fruit industry.  Nematology projects include research on plant parasitic nematodes and entomopathogenic nematodes. The research is applied and the development of EPN’s as effective pest control agents remains a priority.

The various projects that were proposed during this season were of great interest and were all highly relevant and well-motivated. The projects were assessed and prioritized and a total of ten projects were funded.  New entomology projects include initial research on the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in pest management and a post-harvest project. Nematology project include research on ring nematode and the use of entomopathogenic nematodes in conjunction with entomopathogenic fungi. The project is highly applied and will form part of a Ph. D. study at Stellenbosch University. The plant pathology projects include a variety of subjects, the study on stem cankers in young trees is of particular interest. The project scored the highest overall ranking in the new crop protection project assessment process.

The structure and function of the Crop Protection program was changed and the results thereof can be seen in the above. The Crop protection research programme continues to form a significant part of the reseach effort within the Faculty of Agriculture at Stellenbosch University. In addition, the crop protection research programme has involved a number of other departments on the campus.  The programme continues to attract external funding, and a new funding proposal has been submitted for research on nematodes.

As noted previously, the demands on crop protection research are high. The threat posed by Bactrocera dorsalis and the phytosanitary status of false codling moth are concerning. In addition, a new strategy for the integrated management of codling moth will have to be developed as the sterile insect release project is now closed. The new research projects on more integrated approaches to pest management are encouraging and bode well for the future.

Matthew Addison, Crop Protection Manager

APPLES & PEARS

New Whatsapp insect ID service launched by IPM initiative

The IPM Initiative at Stellenbosch University has launched an Insect ID Service to help growers and industry players identify unknown pests in the field. Read the full story on this development 

EPN our new Biological Superweapon?

When Matthew Addison originally started thinking about using entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) to treat codling moth infested wooden fruit bins, he never dreamed that it could possibly turn out to be a Biological Superweapon that could potentially save the deciduous industry millions of rands and in the process spawn a vast scientific research network.

DOCUMENTS:
EPN 

The Mite Journey – controlling the pest…

It is dawn in an Overberg apple orchard. A lonely figure goes forth – armed with a “camelback” that rhythmically sloshes as he walks. At his side hangs a small bag with Energy bars and a palm computer. He also has some small bottles and a magnifying glass around his neck, in case he finds something strange or new. He walks purposefully – observing the orchard leaves closely, looking for any “dreaded” brown spots. This has been his life’s mission for more than four decades. Meet Dr Ken Pringle – ‘The Mite Man’.

DOCUMENTS:
A MITEY JOURNEY (38.5 KB)

 

NEMATODES in Pome Fruit

Practical Guidelines for the short- and long- term control of nematodes.

DOCUMENTS:
03_Nematodes in Pome Fruit

BOLLWORM MANAGEMENT IN APPLE ORCHARDS
During the spring to early summer of 2011 the African bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera, was very active and caused a lot of damage in a number of deciduous fruit orchards. In this article the management of African bollworm in apple orchards will be discussed.
DOCUMENTS:
bollwormarticle.final_ (1) (38.5 KB)
MONITORING OF CODLING MOTH IN APPLE AND PEAR ORCHARDS
The basic aim of monitoring codling moth populations in orchards is to generate appropriate and timely information that allows for the efficient management of the insect. To achieve this, resources and labour have to be dedicated to the task, and the entire process must be carefully managed.
DOCUMENTS:
A generic monitoring system and software for apple producers.PDF (68.8 KB)
Monitoring of Codling moth in apple and pear orchards.PDF (68.8 KB)
COMMERCIAL POLLINATION OF DECIDUOUS FRUIT

Commercial pollination is a critical component of integrated orchard management practice. Obtaining optimal fruit set requires the correct orchard design (selection and positioning of pollinisers), flower management (pruning and thinning), control of alternative forage, as well as the proper introduction and usage of adequate strength honeybee colonies.
DOCUMENTS:
COMMERCIAL POLLINATION OF DECIDUOUS FRUIT.PDF (361.3 KB)

MONITORING SYSTEMS FOR PESTS ON POME FRUIT
Monitoring systems form the backbone of insect pest management.The use of a monitoring system can improve pest detection, making it possible to avoid over and under spraying.
DOCUMENTS:
Monitoring Systems for Pests on Pome fruit.PDF (377.9 KB)
POSTHARVEST BOTRYTIS ON PEARS
Botrytis cinerea causes three types of postharvest decay on pears, viz. (i) calyx-end decay, (ii) fruit stalk decay and (iii) wound decay. Of these, wound decay is the most predominant type of decay. Each type of decay takes place via a characteristic infection
pathway.The control of each type of decay therefore requires a different approach.
DOCUMENTS:
POSTHARVEST BOTRYTIS DECAY ON PEARS.PDF (641.0 KB)
ROSELLINIA ROOT ROT OF APPLES
Rosellinia necatrix is the causal agent of white root rot disease of apple and pear trees in South Africa, and is highly destructive
in nurseries as well as in mature orchards.
DOCUMENTS:
ROSELLINIA ROOT ROT OF APPLES.PDF (385.0 KB)
THRIPS ON POME FRUIT: APPLES
Thrips, a small insect, can cause damage to apples, making them unsuitable for export.
DOCUMENTS:
THRIPS ON POME FRUIT: APPLES.PDF (237.0 KB)