Vig­i­lance for crop suc­cess

Gatton Star - - INTO RURAL -

EL­DERS hor­ti­cul­tural agron­o­mist Greg Teske said the best way for grow­ers to ef­fec­tively com­bat any pest in­fes­ta­tion was to work with their agron­o­mist.

“The old say­ing is preven­tion is bet­ter than a cure, so there are a lot of pre­ven­ta­tive prod­ucts out there,” he said.

“Be­fore a pest gets out of hand, grow­ers should work with their agron­o­mist and work on a strat­egy.”

With sum­mer pro­duc­tion ramp­ing up in the re­gion, agronomists warn grow­ers need to stay vig­i­lant to keep on-top of pest in­fes­ta­tions.

Mr Teske said the most im­por­tant part of con­trol­ling pests was catch­ing in­fes­ta­tions in the early stages.

“Reg­u­lar crop check­ing is the key to man­ag­ing pests, and that even goes for grow­ers,” he said.

“They’re on the farm all the time – go and have a look, and if all of a sud­den they see a high pop­u­la­tion, they should con­sult their agron­o­mist and seek ad­vice on what to do.”

Af­ter a dry win­ter and with a sum­mer ex­pected, pest num­bers could be higher than usual and some pest might be more dif­fi­cult to con­trol.

“At the mo­ment our main pest is sil­ver leaf white fly, and then we’ve got to watch out for thrip,” he said.

How­ever it isn’t a sim­ple task to de­ter­mine where and what species would be the most preva­lent, he said.

“It’s very hard to pre­dict what’s go­ing to hap­pen,” he said.

“In a lot of the cases, one pest isn’t a blan­ket or broadly found in the Val­ley – you find you get these hot spots of pests in dif­fer­ent ar­eas.”

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