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April / May 2023

Extension briefs for April and May 2023

SA Fruit Journal: April / May 2023

By Hannes Bester, MC Pretorius, Wayne Mommsen, Coenraad Fraenkel, André Combrink, Catherine Savage, Natasha Jackson and Jan Landman (Citrus Research International)

(T.G. Grout, S.D. Moore and A. Manrakhan)

Phytosanitary pests

All the recommendations made in the Extension Briefs for February and March also apply to this period. Control of insect pests of phytosanitary concern is critical.

At least once a week, growers must conduct sanitation of split, stung or infested fruit in the trees, or fallen fruit on the ground. According to the pre-harvest fruit infestation monitoring protocol, growers should also continue to monitor infestation of fallen fruit every second week. This is a mandatory practice for the last 12 weeks before harvest, for participation in the FCM Risk Management System (FMS). Once the required information has been entered, PhytClean will report the calculated FCM infestation per tree per week, as well as whether the threshold has been surpassed or not. Regardless, a final spray for FCM is recommended a minimum of four weeks before harvest, using a product with a pre-harvest interval, which is within that time.

Fruit fly control initiated in mid-summer should continue regularly and be adjusted according to trap catches. If trap thresholds are exceeded, control actions must be increased. Control actions for fruit flies include the use of registered protein bait sprays and/or bait stations and orchard sanitation. Where Oriental fruit fly (OFF) is present, growers should also apply registered methyl eugenol-based Male Annihilation Technique (MAT) (e.g. Invader-b-Lok, a block impregnated with Chempac ME lure and malathion, or Static Spinosad ME).

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